Pakistan has frozen bank accounts of the Haqqani network and Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the first indication that Islamabad was moving towards banning the outfit amid international pressure to crack down on terror groups operating in the country.
The Haqqani network and the JuD are among organisations to be officially banned as part of Pakistan’s National Action Plan to fight terrorism. JuD’s welfare wing, the Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation—already banned by the US—is also on the list.
The UN Security Council designated the JuD a front for the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) after the 2008 Mumbai attacks that left 166 people dead. The group is banned by the US, the European Union, India and Russia as a terror organisation. But 64-year-old Saeed, who founded the LeT in the 1990s, operates openly in Pakistan and leads a high-profile life despite a $10-million US bounty. He regularly appears on TV and addresses large public gatherings, delivering inflammatory speeches against India and the US.
Pakistan, however, says there is no case against Saeed with ministers often calling the JuD a charitable organisation with no terror links.
The decision to freeze bank accounts of terror outfits came after a statement by US Secretary of State John Kerry, asking Pakistan to fight the LeT as well as other terror groups and show tangible results in its counter-terrorism operations for continued American funding.
Ten more organisations, including the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban have also been placed on the list. The government also banned the Harkat-ul-Jihad Islami, accused of terror attacks in Pakistan and the Harkat-ul-Mujahidin that allegedly operates an extremist ring in Kashmir.
Officials said banning an organisation hardly helps because they keep resurfacing under different names. Around 23 outlawed organisations are functioning under different pseudonyms, such as the Jaish-e-Muhammad which operates as the Khuddam-e-Islam or the Al Rahmat Trust. Unfortunately, there is no legal framework to clamp down on activities of allied organisations.