Pakistan launches crackdown on 2 charities


Within a few days, a meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in Paris will be held where U.S. and India were planning to put pressure on the organisation to put Pakistan in the grey list, which would mean increased costs of doing global business and cross-border transactions for Pakistan.

On Wednesday, Pakistan's interior Ministry a notification to immediately acquire and seize the movable and immovable assets of the Jamaat-ud-dawa (JuD) and the Falah-i-insaniyat Foundation (FIF). Saeed, one of the founders of the militant group, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), is banned on the worldwide terrorism blacklist maintained by the UN.

Hafiz Saeed, the alleged mastermind behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks, was recently released from house arrest.

Observers believe Pakistan's swift action against Saeed's charities was aimed at avoiding inclusion in the FATF watch list.

"We have received the interior ministry directions, and according to that, Hafiz Saeed and his charities, like the JuD and FIF, have been banned to operate in Pakistan", Sanaullah said. A Pakistani court freed him from house arrest a year ago after ruling there was insufficient evidence to convict him.

Aslam said he did not have an 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. Pakistan has come under intense pressue to rein in terror groups after US President accused the country of harbouring terrorists and suspended almost United States dollars 2 billion in security assistance to it.

Deputy Commissioner Talat Mehmood Gondal confirmed that the government had assumed control of one seminary and four dispensaries, run by JuD and the FIF, respectively. Washington had offered $10 million for information leading to Saeed's arrest and conviction and had dubbed his charities as fronts for Lashkar-e-Taiba, the terrorist organisation that India and the USA blame for the 2008 attacks in Mumbai that left 166 people dead. To prepare legal grounds for action against Saeed's network, the government had amended the country's anti-terrorism law last Friday through a presidential ordinance.

The federal cabinet on Tuesday approved new rules to block funding for banned groups. He also blamed Pakistani government to please India and America.

Authorities said 166 people were killed in that attack.

The Frontier Corps troopers were patrolling the neighbourhood of Langoabad on motorcycles when they were fired on by gunmen also riding bikes, said Naseebullah Khan, senior superintendent of police for Quetta.