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Jamaat faces heat after UN ban

Hours after a United Nations sanctions committee outlawed the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Pakistan ordered the “closure” of all JuD offices in the country and “banned” the LeT front, reports Amit Baruah. See Special

delhi Updated: Dec 12, 2008 00:56 IST
Amit Baruah

Hours after a United Nations sanctions committee outlawed the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Pakistan ordered the “closure” of all JuD offices in the country and “banned” the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba front on Thursday night.

A Reuters report from Islamabad said that JuD / LeT boss Hafiz Saeed, one of the four terrorists sanctioned by the UN Security Council, had been placed under house arrest in Lahore.

LeT operations commander, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, arrested by Pakistan in connection with the Mumbai attacks, chief of finance Haji Muhammad Ashraf and Saudi financier Mahmoud Bahaziq are the three other terrorists sanctioned by the UN Security Council.

By banning the JuD, the UN upheld India’s case that the Lashkar and the Jamaat are joined at the hip: that the JuD is a LeT front.

The Lashkar, it may be recalled, was outlawed in 2005 by the UN: the Jamaat has merely been added as an alias of LeT by the UN sanctions panel established under Security Council Resolution 1267 passed in 1999.

In a statement, Pakistani PM Yusuf Raza Gilani said Islamabad had taken note of the designation of certain individuals and entities by UN Security Council and would “fulfill its international obligations”.

The Lashkar was banned by Pakistan in 2002, but simply turned itself into the Jamaat, and continued all its activities with a name change. It remains to be seen whether the new ban is for real.

All governments are bound to freeze the financial assets of these individuals and entities, impose a travel ban and stop these outfits from obtaining arms and engaging in military training under Resolution 1267.

Saeed, Lakhvi, Ashraf and Bahaziq, an India-born Saudi national, were sanctioned by the US treasury department in May under an executive order which targets terrorists and those providing financial or material support for acts of terror.

Welcoming the UN ban, the US state department said, “These actions will limit the ability of known terrorists to travel, acquire weapons, plan, carry out, or raise funds for new terrorist attacks.”

Earlier in the day, a defiant Hafiz Saeed condemned the decision taken by the UN.

“We will not accept any decision taken under Indian pressure,” Saeed said at a press conference in Lahore. “This decision was taken to defame Pakistan.”

In New Delhi, Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma welcomed the sanctions on the Jamaat and the four Lashkar terrorists and hoped that Pakistan would take the necessary steps to end extremist activity from its soil.

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