Islamabad: Pakistan has formally banned Hafiz Saeed’s terror group Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and its subsidiary Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FiF). The notification has come from Interior Ministry of Pakistan. The organisations have been banned under Pakistan’s Anti Terrorism Act of 1997.
A National Counter Terrorism Authority notification from March 5 mentions the two organisations in a list of 70 proscribed organisations. “This list is updated as of 05th March, 2019 and prepared by NACTA based on the Notifications issued by Ministry of Interior,” said a note at the bottom of the list.
The move comes after many turnarounds by Pakistan on the issue. On February 21, amid growing tensions between India and Pakistan over the Pulwama terror attack, Pakistan had claimed that it had been JuD and FiF.
However, an India Today TV investigation found Pakistan’s tough stance on terror to be false. A list of organisations released on March 4 by Pakistan’s National Counter Terrorism Authority, based on a notification issued by its Ministry of Interior, only put the two terror groups on the ‘watchlist’ and not on the ‘proscribed’ list.
Both JuD and FIF were placed on the watch list in January 2017. The Pakistan government on Monday also put out another order saying it has frozen assets of all UN designated organisations like JuD, FIF.
According to officials, JuD’s network includes 300 seminaries and schools, hospitals, a publishing house and ambulance service. The two groups have about 50,000 volunteers and hundreds of other paid workers.
The Jamaat-ud-Dawa is believed to be the front organisation for the Lashkar-e-Taiba which is responsible for carrying out the Mumbai attack that killed 166 people. It had been declared as a foreign terrorist organisation by the US in June 2014. The US Department of the Treasury has designated its chief Hafiz Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, and the US, since 2012, has offered a USD 10 million reward for information that brings Saeed to justice.
Hafiz Saeed was listed under UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008. He was released from house arrest in Pakistan in November 2017. The NCTA has so far declared 70 terrorist organisations as banned and a sizeable number of these organisations are based in Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).