- Action against Jamaat-ud-Dawa taken on the insistence of Trump Administration
- More details about the action will be revealed today: Ch Nisar
It took a strong message from the new administration in Washington to take action against one of the remaining terror outfits in Pakistan: Jamaat ud-Dawa (JuD). The US had conveyed to Islamabad that in case of not following the ‘advice’, Pakistan may face sanctions. With Trump ordering visa bans on several Muslim countries, it appears the government here in Pakistan doesn’t wish to be included in that list, as it launched a crackdown against JuD on Monday evening and a heavy contingent of police has reportedly been deployed around the JuD headquarters in Punjab’s Muridke town.
JuD chief Hafiz Saeed has been put under house arrest at the Qudsia Mosque near Chauburji, Lahore, claims a private TV channel.
Contingents of police and other law-enforcing agencies reached the area and surrounded the premises.
Hafiz Saeed was reportedly present at the Qudsia Mosque. Police sources say that Saeed will be shifted to his residence in Johar Town area, which will then be declared as a sub-jail.
Moreover, national flags have been hoisted at the JuD offices in Lahore instead of party flags on the directives of provincial home department, it added.
The provincial authorities have also started to remove the banners of JuD from the roads of Lahore.
“Consultations are going on whether to declare JuD as defunct or not. However, the final decision will be taken after consultations between the civilians and military authorities,” one of the key senior officials said.
Punjab government explains its position
The Punjab government issued a media handout around midnight explaining its position on the action it took against JuD, stating that the organisation is already on the watch-list and second schedule under Section (1) 11EEE of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.
In the light of the abovementioned order, Punjab government has taken organisational office-bearers of aforementioned organisations playing active role including Hafiz Muhammad Saeed (Lahore), Abdullah Ubaid (Faisalabad), Zafar Iqbal (Markaz Tayyaba Muridke), Abdul Rehman Abid (Markaz Tayyaba Muridke) and Kashif Niazi of Multan into protective custody.
In an order of Home Ministry, Government of Pakistan, it has been stated that Falah-e-Insaaniat Foundation and Jamaat-ud-Dawa were involved in harming peace and security and have been involved in activities like violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1267.
The reason behind US’ demand: Financial activities of JuD
Reportedly, in Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG)’s latest report, some key objections were raised regarding the activities and the financial traffic of JuD. The same were presented before High Commissioner Jalil Abbas Jilani.
Analysts are saying that the new United States regime is quite tough on these organisations and the government might ban it altogether.
The sources claim that the US authorities clearly told the high commissioner that if the objections raised in the report were not addressed, the US may put Pakistan in the blacklist of the countries in the International Cooperative Review Group (ICRG).
In case of being blacklisted, Pakistan has to tender a request for each of its international transaction through the international financial institutions.
Ch Nisar hints at action against the organisation
Earlier in the day, Federal Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that JuD has been under observation since 2010 and details over possible action against it would be released tomorrow.
In a media talk in the federal capital after inauguration of an executive passport office, Nisar said that the banned outfit was designated a terrorist organisation by the United States years ago and has been ‘under observation’ in Pakistan since 2010.
More information would be given out on the issue tomorrow, Nisar asserted.
JuD, a charity organisation, is also alleged to be the front for the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). The organisation, which is headed by Hafiz Saeed Ahmed, is allegedly involved in militant activities in India-held Kashmir and has already been declared as a ‘foreign terrorist organisation’ by the United States in June 2014.
Jamaat-ud-Dawa has been listed as banned outfit in resolution of Security Council of the United Nations (UN) and every state is required to take action, Nisar said. He added that Pakistan is going to take an action against the outfit now which was pending.
Some analysts are saying that the minister’s statement is an admission to the fact that the government of Pakistan wasn’t taking adequate measures on the subject.
JuD with a new name
On the other hand, the JuD has started discreetly working under the name of ‘Tehreek-e-Azadi-e-Kashmir’ (Kashmir Freedom Movement). The latest name has been adopted by the JuD chief Hafiz Saeed since January 14, 2017, in a press conference. According to Saeed, they have declared the year 2017 as a year for Kashmir, so they will be using this name besides keeping their independent position as JuD. The sources claim that in the days to come, the JuD may change its face again and may also announce to join politics, probably with the new name.
After the news spread of the Punjab government’s action against JuD, the organsation took out protests in various cities of the country, including Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Sialkot, Quetta and Hyderabad among others. The protestors raised slogans in favour of the organisation and against India and USA. The protestors also staged a demonstration in front of the Lahore Press Club. JuD leaders, including Abu-al Hashim Rabbani, Hafiz Abdul Majid Salfi, Hafiz Masood-ur-Rehman addressed the protest.
They said that the Jamaat is a patriot organisation and people are well aware of its activites. They alleged that the government is taking action against them just to please its Indian and American overlords.
They also said that they have declared the year 2017 as a year for Kashmir, and they will continue their activities throughout the country. The JuD leaders said that it is a conspiracy against their organisation and government should open its eyes. “We will launch a strong protest in case the government bans us,” the leaders said.
The Jamaat leaders claimed that ‘we are a charity organisation’ with presence across the country. It has hundreds of thousands of students in its madrassas, along with its work for flood relief, medical aid and other charity work. A ban would hurt millions of people.