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Law to haul up renamed terror groups

world Updated: Oct 04, 2009 17:50 IST

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The anti-terror law in Pakistan has been amended allowing authorities to act against members of outlawed groups that set up new outfits with different names, a move which may have ramifications for Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) whose founder Hafiz Saeed floated Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) after it was banned.

An ordinance promulgated on Saturday by President Asif Ali Zardari amending the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997 stated that if "office bearers, activists or associates of a proscribed organisation form a new organisation under a different name, upon suspicion about their involvement in similar activities, the said organisation shall also be deemed to be a proscribed organisation."

The government may then "issue a formal notification" about the proscription of the new group formed by members of a banned organisation, it said.

Soon after the LeT was banned in Pakistan in the wake of the 2001 attack on Indian Parliament, its founder Saeed floated the JuD, describing it as a charitable organisation. The UN Security Council declared the JuD a front for the LeT after last year's Mumbai terror attacks and imposed restrictions on Saeed.

The Pakistan government has said on several occasions that the JuD has been banned, though no formal written notification has been issued in this regard.