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UNSC bans Jamaat-ud-Dawa

world Updated: Dec 11, 2008 12:54 IST

Acting tough on India's demands, the UN Security Council on Thursday imposed sanctions on Pakistan-based terror outfit Jamaat-ud-Dawah, the front organisation of the banned LeT and also declared as terrorists its four leaders, including JuD chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and the suspected Mumbai attacks mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.

Besides Sayeed and Lakhvi, two other top leaders of Lashkar-e-Taiba, Haji Muhammad Ashraf and Zaki-ur-Bahaziq, both financiers of the JuD, have also been declared as terrorists by the UNSC.

India had made a strong plea in the Council for sanctions against the organisation contending along with the US that JuD is a front for LeT.

The Council also late on Wednesday asked all member States to freeze their assets and imposed travel ban and arms embargo against them.

Since 2005, the UN Sanctions Committee has considered LeT to be a terrorist organisation affiliated with al-Qaeda. The US and the European Union have already banned the LeT.

India had sought ban on JuD after LeT was suspected to be behind the multiple terrorist attacks in Mumbai on November 26 which killed 179 people.

The decision was taken by the Council's committee on al-Qaeda and Taliban which put JuD and the four individuals on the Consolidated List of persons and entities connected with al-Qaeda and Taliban.

The United States had sought ban on Lakhvi, operations leader of LeT who is suspected to be the mastermind behind the Mumbai attacks, Ashraf, a JuD financier, and Bahaziq, an Indian-born Saudi who was said to collecting funds for the banned organisations in Saudi Arabia.

The ban on JuD came a day after Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed had made a powerful case during debate on terrorism in the Council for imposing sanctions on the terror outfit and Saeed as New Delhi found LeT to be responsible for planning, financing and executing the Mumbai attacks.

India has sent a communication on Friday to the Council's committee on al-Qaeda and Taliban giving reasons as to why JUD should be sanctioned. The committee generally waits for five days to see if any objection is received.

Pakistan had given pledge in the Security Council yesterday that it would proscribe JUD should the Council decide to ban it but diplomats said only time will tell if Islamabad keeps its promise.

During the discussions in the Council's committee which makes the recommendation, the Wall Street Journal reported that the United States had also unsuccessfully sought blacklisting of former members of Pakistan's powerful spy body, the Inter-Services Intelligence Agency, for their support to LeT.

For a ban to be placed, all 15 members of the Council must agree but Washington failed to win support of all of them. The ban on JUD and four others was placed after China, which blocked it earlier, lifted its objections in view of the barbarity of the Mumbai attacks.

The Concil also amended its ban on two Pakistani organisations that funded al-Qaeda A-Rashid Trust and Al- Akhtar Trust International to bring their front companies in the sanction regime.

A trustee of Al-Akhtar Trust owned the home where the body of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was found in 2002. The Pakistani man also allegedly took part in Pearl's kidnapping.

The United States has sought blacklisting of the remaining three.

Earlier, Pakistan had banned LeT but it continued to operate under different names and analysts said that JUD had sufficient time to hide its money since it was almost clear for several days that the sanctions are imminent.

The Committee had imposed sanctions on LeT in 2005, citing its affiliation with al-Qaeda.

Meanwhile, reacting to the decision, the United States said it is pleased that the Committee has decided to move forward on these high-priority designations.

"These actions will limit the ability of known terrorists to travel, acquire weapons, plan, carry out, or raise funds for new terrorist attacks," it added.

The action, it said, reaffirm the Council's commitment to updating the Consolidated List to ensure it continues to serve as a tool to help member states deter terrorist activities of al-Qaeda and affiliated groups.