Pakistan Bans Terrorist Hafiz Saeed-Backed Terror Outfit

Pak has banned terror group Jamaat-ud-Dawa’s front ‘Tehreek-e-Azaadi Jammu and Kashmir’

Islamabad:  Pakistan has banned ‘Tehreek-e-Azaadi Jammu and Kashmir’, a front for terrorist Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawa, amid international pressure to act against terror outfits and their funding.

Tehreek-e-Azaadi gained prominence as a Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) front when it held rallies and displayed banners and streamers across Pakistan on February 5, days after Hafiz Saeed was put under “house arrest” for 90 days in Lahore.

The mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack had indicated about a week before his house arrest that he would launch Tehreek-e-Azaadi. The re-branding of Jamaat-ud-Dawa as ‘Tehreek-e-Azaadi Jammu and Kashmir’ showed that Hafiz Saeed had got information of the Pakistani governments plan, and had already worked out how to resurface and survive after the clampdown on his terror network of JuD and its affiliate ‘Falah-e-Insaniat’ Foundation.

The JuD front was put on the list of “proscribed organisations” on June 8 – a fortnight before the meeting of Financial Action Task Force in Spain, according to a list available on the website of Pakistan’s National Counter Terrorism Authority.

Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) has called a meeting on July 3 to discuss the ban on its affiliate, Pakistani newspaper ‘The Nation’ reported.

There are 64 other terror outfits in the proscribed organisation category, including Jaish-e-Mohammad, al-Qaeda, Tehreek-e-Taliban, and Jamaat-ud-Dawa’s armed wing Lashkar-e-Taiba responsible for 26/11 and several other terror attacks in India.

According to a report in Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper today, the country continues to remain on the radar of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) over concerns that it is not fully complying with curbs against entities listed with the United Nations.

India had raised the terror financing issue at the FATF in February this year.

The FATF last week referred Pakistan to its regional affiliate – the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering – for further analysis and a follow-up report on actions the country has taken against entities designated under UN sanctions list.

Pakistan’s government has been under mounting international pressure to crackdown on terrorist networks and their fronts.

The United Nations placed both Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-e-Insaniat on its watch list in December 2008 and March 2012, respectively. The ban on ‘Tehreek-e-Azaadi Jammu and Kashmir’ on June 8 happened a day before the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Kazakh capital Astana. India had pushed the SCO members at the summit to curb the financing of terrorist organisations and their fronts.

The Astana Declaration of the Heads of State of the SCO said that the “member states will continue to cooperate in order to counteract the activities of individuals and legal entities related to the recruitment, training and utilisation of terrorists, public calls for terrorist activities or the justification of acts of terrorism, and financing terrorist activities.”

Last week, the US declared Pakistan-based Hizb-ul-Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin a global terrorist. The announcement had come hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump had their first bilateral meeting.

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