Five-year-old ban: JuD seeks easing of UN curbs

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ISLAMABAD: Amidst controversy and confusion, Jamatud Dawa (JuD) has once again decided to approach the United Nations against a five-year-old ban over its ‘activities’ by the world body.

A spokesperson for the organisation told The Express Tribune that Hafiz Saeed’s counsel pleading innocence and claiming that the JuD has no link with al Qaeda, Taliban or the Mumbai attacks requested the UN chief Ban Ki-moon for lifting of the sanctions.

He said attention of the UN was also sought towards some corrective measures which have been taken in light of the UN instructions. “We have also shown willingness for audit of our organisational activities,” he added.

While referring to its relief activities across the country, the appeal reiterated that the JuD has no organisational or legal link with Lashkar-e-Taiba, and it is a legal Pakistan-based charitable NGO and all of its institutes and projects are registered in the country.

A letter, dispatched by the JuD chief, had already been pending with the office of Ban Ki-moon. The appeal was made through the letter in 2009 to the UN that it had taken a hasty decision in proscribing the JuD, its chief Hafiz Saeed and other members and termed the UN decision detrimental to the interests of Pakistan.

The purpose behind our fresh move is to win clearance or a no objection certificate from the UN while contesting the case on merit, the spokesperson said.

Currently, there is no restriction on the activities of JuD in Pakistan. However, as per the Foreign Office spokesperson’s recent briefing, JuD’s bank account has already been frozen and its leadership cannot travel abroad.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan admitted that no fresh measure has been taken against any proscribed outfits following the December 16 assault on Peshawar school.

The JuD is carrying out welfare activities under the banner of its subsidiary Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF). As per the JuD spokesperson, FIF is not banned mainly because of China’s support in the UN.

The JuD ban could have been avoided in case the then foreign minister of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Quraishi had played a proactive role convincing the friend country China to abstain on this issue, he added.

Recently in a statement, JuD spokesperson Yahya Mujahid said the issue of the UN ban has been cleared in favour of JuD by the Supreme Court and the full bench of the Lahore High Court. “They have explicitly and unequivocally cleared the organisation, allowing it to continue its philanthropic and relief activities inside Pakistan. Therefore, the organisation will carry on with its relief activities and Islamic propagation work in the country,” he said.

Millions of people across the country are directly or indirectly benefiting from the JuD services particularly in the areas of health, education, water, sanitation, rehabilitation and particularly the provision of food and shelter to the homeless.

Hafiz Saeed requested the UN secretary general to mobilise his good offices for the lifting of sanctions and delisting of all JuD entities.

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