Islamabad: Pakistan’s Punjab government has taken control of the headquarters of the banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) in Lahore and Muridke, respectively. The government is further planning to take control of JuD mosque and madrasa in Lahore’s Chauburji later on Thursday night (March 7), stated news agency ANI.
Meanwhile, the Punjab police has already taken over the JuD and FIF owned mosques in Islamabad, stated a report. Earlier on Thursday, the United Nations rejected an appeal by JuD chief Hafiz Saeed to delist him as a banned terrorist. Saeed is the alleged mastermind behind the 2008 Mumbai terror attack which claimed the lives of 166 people. The banned terrorist is also the co-founder of the terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
The UN Security Council listed Saeed as a banned terrorist on December 10, 2008. While still under house arrest in Pakistan, Seed had filed an appeal with the UN through Lahore-based law firm Mirza and Mirza in 2017 for the removal of the ban. Saeed’s request was opposed by India as well as other countries that had originally listed him – US, UK and France, sources said.
Besides, the UN’s 1267 Sanctions Committee has received a new request to ban Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar after the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 Central Reserve Police Police (CRPF) personnel were killed. Pakistan-based JeM has claimed responsibility for the strike which took place on February 14.
On March 5, hours after detaining Masood Azhar’s brother Abdul Rauf Asghar and 44 other members of banned outfits, Pakistan allegedly banned Hafiz Saeed’s JuD and its subsidiary Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation under Anti Terrorism Act 1997. The country’s interior ministry issued a notification stating that the two outfits have been moved from the watch list to the list of proscribed outfits, which has 70 organisations.
Earlier on February 21, the Pakistan government had declared 69 terrorist organisations including the JuD and FIF as banned, amid intense global pressure to rein in the militant groups following the Pulwama terror attack. However, the website of the Pakistan government’s National Counter Terrorism Authority (NCTA), which was updated on March 4 mentioned JuD and FIF in watch list under section 11-D-(1), Schedule-II of the Anti Terrorism Act 1997.
(With Agency inputs)