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JuD denies links with al-Qaida, Taliban

world Updated: Feb 06, 2009 05:21 IST

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Jamaat-ud-Dawah, the front organisation of LeT which is blamed for the Mumbai attacks, has written to the United Nations claiming that it was not associated with the al-Qaida and Taliban and that the Security Council's sanctions on it were "unjustified".

Though JuD chief Hafiz Mohammed Saeed wrote the letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on December 26 last year, it was circulated among journalists here over the past few days.

Moon arrived in Islamabad yesterday for a day-long visit, during which he asked Pakistan to fully cooperate with India in probing the Mumbai attacks.

In his letter, Saeed described the restrictions imposed by the UN Security Council on the Jamaat and its leaders as being "detrimental" to the interests of Pakistan and the people who were benefiting from the organisation's "welfare activities".

Soon after the Mumbai attacks, the UN Security Council banned the Jamaat and included four LeT leaders in a list of terrorists subject to sanctions. Saeed claimed he had "no connection" to the Mumbai attacks.

He also claimed the UN had acted against the Jamaat without giving the organisation an opportunity to defend itself.

Diplomatic sources said that Saeed's letter could not be considered by the UN as it was not endorsed by the Pakistan government.

Saeed and LeT operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, who has been blamed for masterminding the November 26 Mumbai strikes, were among the four leaders.

Pakistan's interior ministry chief Rehman Malik has said the Jamaat has been banned though no formal notification has been issued in this regard.

Several top Jamaat and LeT leaders, including Saeed, were put under house arrest while over 120 other activists were detained.

In the letter, Saeed claimed the UN Security Council acted with "unprecedented haste" while declaring the Jamaat a terrorist group and listing the four leaders as terrorists subject to sanctions.

He implied the Security Council's action was the outcome of "disinformation of (an) Indian lobby".

Noting that the UNSC Resolution 1267 only calls for action against groups linked to al-Qaida and Taliban, Saeed claimed the Jamaat is "neither an associate of al-Qaida (and) Osama bin Laden nor the Taliban".

He claimed the UN Security Council's action also went against the "independence and sovereignty of Pakistan".