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Pakistan bans charities linked to Hafiz Saeed

Pakistan bans charities linked to Hafiz Saeed

Rana Sanaullah, law minister for Punjab province, said on Wednesday that Pakistan's interior ministry had issued a notification against the Saeed-founded Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) charity, as well as its associated organisation, the Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF).

Aslam said he did not know the exact number of offices and seminaries involved in the asset seizure but data was being compiled in all four districts of Rawalpindi division and he expected full details of the assets.

Saeed, the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, heads the charity JuD, believed to be a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror group.

The ordinance, promulgated late last week, amends Sections 11B and 11EE of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) to automatically include groups sanctioned by UNSC in the list of terrorist organisations in Pakistan. "US and India are spearheading an effort to get Pakistan included in the watchdog's worldwide money-laundering and terror-financing "grey list", the report claimed. Thus, this new anti-terror ordinance seems to be an effort to "clear its name" and present a clean slate before the Financial Action Task Force meeting. The ordinance was signed by the Pakistani President a week ahead of an FATF plenary meeting. Pakistan has informed the committee of the decision it has chose to undertake.

In 2017, Hafiz Saeed was detained for nine months before the FATF meeting to show progress.

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"We have to march with the changing times", Ausaf said, adding that the new laws would enable the government to track fundraising activities of all the UN-proscribed groups and take punitive action such as freezing their assets.

In November 2017, Hafiz Saeed was released from house arrest by the Pakistan government, citing a lack of "evidence", however, he continues to be listed as a designated terrorist by the United Nations and as a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist" by the US.

"We are now working with the US, UK, Germany and France for the nomination to be withdrawn", Ismail said.

The move will bring the Pakistani law in line with the United Nations sanctions list and remove ambiguities on the status of Hafiz Saeed, the founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba.