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  • » 12/12/2008, 00.00


    Pakistan bans Jamaat-ud-Dawa, arrests leaders

    Qaiser Felix

    Islamabad complies with UN resolution describing the group as a front for the terrorists who carried out the Mumbai attacks. For Pakistan’s Catholic Church both India and Pakistan are victims of terrorism and must work together and not succumb to jingoism.
    Islamabad (AsiaNews) – Pakistan’s government banned the Jamaat-ud-Dawa charity, arrested its top leaders, sealed its offices throughout the country, froze its bank accounts and banned its publications after the United Nations blacklisted the organisation for being a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba, an al-Qaeda-linked extremist group involved in the Mumbai attacks. TV stations also can no longer air statements by “banned groups”.

    Although no official announcement about the banning of the organisation has been made, it is expected after a meeting of top security officials at the Foreign Office late in the night.

    Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani “has taken note of the designation of certain individuals and entities by the UN under 1267 resolution of the UN Security Council and would fulfill its international obligations,” a government statement said.

    Police sealed Qudsia Mosque, Jamaat-ud-Dawa headquarters in Chauburji Chowk, Lahore, and 18 other offices throughout Punjab.

    Weekly Ghazwa and monthly Al-Dawa, both published by the charity, have also apparently been closed.

    Lashkar-e-Taiba founder and Jamaat-ud-Dawa leader Hafiz Mohammed Saeed has also been placed under house arrest. Police now surround his home.

    Before his arrest Saeed said that the move was an attempt to target religious groups, and that his organisation would fight the decision in Pakistani and international courts, challenging Indian and US officials to produce evidence against it.

    He claimed his group was not involved in the Mumbai attacks, adding that “[w]e do not accept terrorism, killing innocent people, or carrying out suicide attacks. [. . .] This has always been our stand.”

    The organisation runs hundreds of Islamic schools and health clinics (pictured, Jamaat-ud-Dawa members handing out food).

    Following the Mumbai attacks in which 172 people were killed by ten Pakistani terrorists, Indian sources accused Pakistan of not doing enough to arrest possible accomplices.

    Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, speaking in parliament before the latest steps were taken, called Pakistan “the epicentre of terrorism,” and the latter’s “infrastructure [. . .] has to be dismantled permanently.” India, he insisted, “could not be satisfied with mere assurances.”

    India and Pakistan “need to work hard and resolve this issue wisely,” said in a statement the National Commission for Justice and Peace of the Catholic Church of Pakistan.

    None the less, if it “s true that terrorists have enjoyed impunity and developed their root very deep in Pakistan,” it is also true that “Pakistan itself is victim of this terrorism.” In fact, in Pakistan authorities are hard pressed to hold on to entire regions “like the Swat Valley, for years the scene of military clashes.”

    Similarly, for a long time India too “has been facing home-grown terrorism [. . .] in Assam, Orissa, Rajasthan, and Punjab among others”.

    In “order to eradicate the roots of terrorism from South Asia, both countries will have to make joint efforts.,” for this reason, “this is not the time to succumb to any kind of jingoism.”

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    See also

    10/12/2008 INDIA – PAKISTAN
    Mumbai terrorists all Pakistani, Indian Muslims condemn them
    Indian police identify attackers as tensions with Islamabad remain high. Pakistan does not make public charges against extremists it arrested. Mumbai Muslims condemn the attacks, refuse to bury attackers.

    03/06/2009 PAKISTAN – INDIA
    Islamic extremist held over Mumbai attack is released, Indo-Pakistani tensions rise
    Lahore High Court’s decision to release Hafiz Saeed, founder of Islamist extremist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, leads to diplomatic crisis between India and Pakistan. Pakistan cites lack of evidence against him to justify release, claiming controversy is misplaced. India blames Pakistan for “lack of seriousness” in the fight against terrorism.

    02/12/2008 INDIA – PAKISTAN
    India wants Pakistan to extradite suspected terrorists
    New Delhi calls on Pakistan to hand over Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Hafiz Mohammad Saeed and 20 others tied to local terrorism. It rules military action against Pakistan but is not forthcoming with what it intends to do in response to the Mumbai attack. Islamabad proposes a joint commission of inquiry.

    09/12/2008 PAKISTAN – INDIA
    One of the Mumbai attack planners arrested
    President Zardari says his country has no links to terrorists, but is its victim instead. Today another blast hits the Swat Valley during Eid al-Adha celebrations.

    08/05/2009 PAKISTAN
    Taliban a threat to the whole country, Pakistani PM says
    Prime Minister Gilani says army intervention is the only way to protect peace and the unity of the nation. Army and political parties back prime minister. Human rights commission calls for a task force to cope with refugee emergency.

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