March 18, 2018

Pakistan cracks down on Hafiz Saeed's groups, freezes assets of JuD, FIF

15 February 2018, 07:12 | Joan Schultz

Pakistan cracks down on Hafiz Saeed's groups, freezes assets of JuD, FIF

Ahead of Paris terror meet Pakistan nods to law banning charities linked to Hafiz Saeed

Pakistan has come under intense pressure to rein in militant outfits after US President accused the country of harbouring terrorists and suspended almost $2 billion in security assistance to it. The recent actions have come ahead of the crucial Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting in Paris, scheduled to be held from February 18 to 23.

The US and India are spearheading an effort to get Pakistan included in the watchdog's global money-laundering and terror-financing "grey list", reports from Pakistan said.

Pakistan has quietly amended its anti-terror law to ban those listed as terrorists by the United Nations, including Hafiz Saeed and the JuD, and framed new regulations to seize their assets in a bid to stave off a USA move to put the country on the watch list of the Financial Action Task Force. It encourages children from parts of Pakistan and Kashmir to join the outfit and wage a jihad against India and the United States.

The United States was "absolutely not" acting on behalf of India in pressing Pakistanon the issue, the spokesperson said.

Hafiz Saeed, who has been "protected" until now, has been finally declared as a terrorist.

Following an amendment in Section 11-B and 11-EE of the ATA, the organisations and personnel banned through the UN's Security Council's resolution will stand banned in Pakistan too.

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Meanwhile the central government has banned donations from companies and individuals to JuD, FIF and other organisations figured in the UNSC sanctions list.

Pakistan says there is not enough evidence to charge him, and denies harbouring militants.

"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.

Punjab province's law minister, Mr Rana Sanaullah, said the central Ministry of Interior had issued a notification against the two charities, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), this week.

"The February plenary of the intergovernmental FATF will be determining appropriate next steps regarding Pakistan", the spokesperson said.

"It's a very intrusive process and.we are happy to work with them, but while we are being given mutual evaluation, it makes no sense for us to be now put on the watchlist", Ismail said.

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