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Pak clears ordinance to crack down on finances of terror groups banned by UN

The ordinance amends a section of the Anti-Terrorism Act and enables authorities to seal offices and freeze bank accounts of individuals and groups sanctioned by the UN Security Council.

world Updated: Feb 12, 2018 18:48 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Islamabad
UN sanctions,LeT,JuD
Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed at a press conference in Lahore. The JuD figures on the UNSC sanctions list.(AFP file photo)

A week ahead of a crucial meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on terror financing, Pakistan’s President Mamnoon Hussain has signed an ordinance aimed at cracking down on individuals and groups sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council.

The ordinance amends a section of the Anti-Terrorism Act and enables authorities to take action against the sanctioned individuals and groups, such as sealing their offices and freezing their bank accounts, The Express Tribune reported on Monday citing sources in the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA).

The interior, finance and foreign ministries as well as NACTA’s Counter Financing of Terrorism wing are working on the issue, the sources said.

An official in the presidency familiar with the development confirmed the signing of the ordinance but did not share details. The official added the defence ministry was the “notifying authority”.

“The relevant ministry will notify and comment on it,” the official said.

A crucial plenary meeting of the FATF, which will assess Pakistan’s efforts to choke funding to the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jamaat-ud-Dawah and LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, will be held in Paris during February 18-23. The FATF has sought a report from Pakistan on its actions, noting that all funding for the terror groups had not been halted.

The UN Security Council has also sanctioned Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), a front for the LeT, al-Qaeda, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

In December, reports had suggested that the government had plans to take over the JuD and the FIF. In January, the government barred companies and individuals from making donations to the JuD, the FIF and other organisations.

While the LeT has been banned by Pakistan, the JuD and the FIF are on a “watch list”.

First Published: Feb 12, 2018 15:09 IST