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January 24, 2015

JuD not banned yet


January 24, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the United States (US) tried to bring some clarity on whether the Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) had been banned by Pakistan when confirmation came from Pakistan High Commissioner in New Delhi and the US State Department spokesperson, both who clearly said that the JuD had not been banned.
The News reported on Friday that a ban had been slapped on JuD, its funds frozen and its head Hafiz Saeed stopped from traveling overseas.Earlier on January 15 after reports circulated about a ban on JuD and the Haqqani network, the US State Department welcomed the news even though these were only media reports. Now Washington is not so sure. At the time while welcoming the reports, Washington did not wait for official confirmation but sounded as a ban had been slapped on JuD.
Speaking in New Delhi on Friday Abdul Basit, Pakistan High Commissioner when questioned whether JuD had been banned by Pakistan, clearly indicated that there was no ban.“We are proceeding strictly in accordance with UN resolution and Jamaat’s bank accounts have been frozen, there is a ban on travel abroad of its leadership. We are moving in accordance with whatever is required under the UN resolution. I do not see much else needs to be done”, he clarified.
Hafiz Saeed is free to roam around Pakistan because Basit says, “I will remind the audience that the UN resolution does not state that member states lock up such individuals. Pakistan is now moving ahead without any distinction when it comes to terrorism. We are moving against firmly on all organisations that come under the purview.”
In other words, if there is no ban on JuD and its chief Hafiz Saeed, he can travel all over Pakistan, address rallies, call for Jihad, threaten India, claim to free Kashmir and indulge in hate speech.
This is something that he has been doing even after being declared a terrorist organisation by the UN. On January 15 when reports started to circulate that JuD and the Haqqani network were

going to be banned by Pakistan, State Department Deputy Spokesperson said, “We welcome the reports that the government of Pakistan plans to outlaw the Haqqani Network, Jamaatud Dawa and I think about ten other organisations linked to violent extremism.” She said this was an important step towards eliminating terrorist activity in Pakistan.
Later on Thursday, the spokesperson at the State Department commenting about a ban by Pakistan on JuD and the Haqqani network responded, “We recognise that Pakistan is working through the process of implementing measures to thwart violent extremism, including the National Action Plan. We don’t have any confirmation of specific steps.”
She said that US supports this commitment and believes that it is fundamental to addressing terrorism and ensuring attacks such as the horrific one that happened just weeks ago that impacted the Peshawar school children never occur again.
“The Pakistani government has made clear in both private conversations and public statements that it is in Pakistan’s own interest to take steps against all militant groups in Pakistan and explicitly to not differentiate between such groups”, she noted.
Both the JuD and Hafiz Saeed were banned by the UN under Resolution 1267 as an Al-Qaeda-affiliated group in 2008. In 2008 and 2010, Pakistan banned the JuD, but no restrictions seem evident on the activities of the group or its chief.
On Thursday, spokesperson at the Foreign Office said that Pakistan is taking these steps for its own sake for the protection of its own people and to eradicate terrorism from Pakistan once and for all.
“JuD and some other organisations are listed by the United Nations. Pakistan, as a member of the United Nations is under obligations to proscribe the entities and individuals that are listed”, she said.
Though the Nawaz Sharif government has excelled in creating confusion these past two years, it is mandatory on it to at least make a public statement clearly stating whether a complete ban has been put on JuD or not and what it means for the organisations.If the security establishment, which has strong links with JuD and other Jihadi groups, does not wish at this point to ban these organisations, then it should say so clearly.

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