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Pakistan takes control of Jamaat HQ

Pakistan government took over the sprawling headquarters of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a front oganisation of the LeT blamed from the Mumbai attacks, near Lahore amid tight security.

world Updated: Jan 25, 2009 23:18 IST
Rezaul H Laskar

Pakistan government on Sunday took over the sprawling headquarters of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a front oganisation of the LeT blamed from the Mumbai attacks, near Lahore amid tight security.

Khakan Babar, recently appointed by the government of Pakistan’s Punjab province as the Chief Administrator, took over the JuD’s Markaz-e-Tayyeba headquarters at Muridke, about 30 kms from Lahore. The process was completed in the presence of Lahore’s Commissioner, the district police chief, an official of the Auqaf or religious affairs department and a police contingent.

Babar will supervise and monitor all activities at the JuD’s headquarters, Dawn News channel reported.

Babar, his eight-member staff and about a dozen policemen will be housed in the Markaz-e-Tayyeba complex that includes a school, a college and a hospital.

A spokesman for the Markaz-e-Tayyeba described the appointment of the administrator as a “takeover” done under international pressure.

Pakistan’s Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik has said the JuD was banned shortly after the United Nations Security Council declared it a front for the LeT in December last year. However, diplomatic sources told PTI that the Pakistan government had not yet issued any formal notification banning the group.

JuD chief Hafiz Mohammed Saeed and several other top leaders of the group are currently under house arrest. Their detention was recently extended for two more months.

Eight militants killed

Pakistani security forces on Sunday killed eight militants in the northwest Swat valley, where the army is battling extremists waging a violent campaign for Islamic law, officials said.