Pakistan Declares Hafiz Saeed A Terrorist, Restricts All UNSC-Banned Terrorist Outfits

Jamaat-ud-Dawa, FIF banned in Pakistan under amended Anti-Terrorism Act

Earlier in November a year ago, FATF at its plenary in Buenos Aires had asked Pakistan provide a compliance report on actions taken against Lashkar-e-Taiba and JuD at Paris meeting.

Islamabad, which denies assisting militants in Afghanistan and India, has reacted angrily to United States threats of further punitive measures.

In 2017, Hafiz Saeed was detained for nine months before the FATF meeting to show progress. The ordinance was signed by the Pakistani President a week ahead of an FATF plenary meeting. It is also being seen as a step towards formal action to freeze bank accounts and seize assets of groups such as the Jamaat-ud-Dawah and Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation that have been sanctioned by the UN Security Council under Resolution 1267.

"If you're put on a terror watchlist, you're made to go through all the (extra) scrutiny", Pakistan's former counterterrorism chief, Khawaja Khalid Farooq, told Reuters.

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

Saeed denies involvement in the Mumbai attacks and claims his charities are only under a United Nations watch list.

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The move comes after Pakistan quietly amended its anti-terror laws to ban organisations listed as terrorists by the United Nations.

"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.

Of late, Pakistan has been trying hard to please the global community by cracking down on terror organisations and individuals operating from its soil.

The country has authorised its government to blacklist charities linked to Saeed - Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and the Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF).

However, it could not immediately be ascertained what action, if any, the Pakistan government would take against Saeed, the alleged mastermind of the Mumbai attacks who was placed under house arrest for 10 months past year before being freed on the orders of a panel of judges. During the upcoming FATF meeting, the report will be taken up and Pakistan's efforts towards eliminating funding for Hafiz Saeed and other groups will be evaluated.

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