Pakistan bans charities linked to Hafiz Saeed

Pakistan       by Muhammad Irfan | Published

Pakistan by Muhammad Irfan | Published

The Federal government has amended the Anti-Terrorism Act to ban those listed as terrorists by the United Nations, a move which makes it possible for Islamabad to proceed against suspected masterminds of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

The ordinance promulgated by the Pakistani president amended Section 11B of the Anti-Terrorism Act (related to bans on groups) and Section 11EE (related to bans on individuals).

The action comes days before a meeting by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global money laundering watchdog, which will consider a US -sponsored motion to place Pakistan on a list of countries failing to prevent terrorism financing.

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Resolution 1267 requires all states to freeze the assets of people and organisations on a list established by the resolution, including Saeed and his "charities".

Pakistan's Interior Ministry issued a notification on Wednesday requiring authorities to immediately seize the assets of Saeed's Jamaat-ud-Dawa organization and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation. A report states that a US-India joint effort is attempting to put Pakistan in the "grey list" of FATF under financing terror groups and money laundering.

Earlier in November past year, FATF at its plenary in Buenos Aires had asked Pakistan provide a compliance report on actions taken against Lashkar-e-Taiba and JuD at Paris meeting.

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The UN Security Council had banned these groups, and the ordinance will enable Islamabad to seal the offices of these groups.

The intergovernmental body had at its plenary in Buenos Aires held in November a year ago had asked Pakistan to furnish a compliance report on actions taken against the Lashkar-e-Taiba and JuD at the Paris meeting. The "grey list", in which Pakistan was last named in 2012, affects global transactions from the country concerned as these would then be subject to greater scrutiny. This time too Pakistan government has taken action just days before the crucial meeting although no decision has been taken to detain Hafiz Saeed. JuD is a charity wing of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, one of the largest and most Islamic of terrorist militant organisations in South Asia.

The worldwide monitoring body FATF maintains "grey" and "black" list for identifying countries with "weak measures" to combat money laundering and terror financing.

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