Hafiz Saeed finally declared terrorist by Pakistan under UN pressure

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Hafiz Saeed finally declared terrorist by Pakistan under UN pressure
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New Delhi: The Pakistan government has officially declared Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder and 26/11 Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed a terrorist.

Pakistan’s President Mamnoon Hussain on Monday signed an ordinance that brings all individuals and organisations banned by the UN Security Council (UNSC), including Hafiz Saeed, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Al-Qaeda and Taliban under the ambit of the country’s stringent Anti-Terrorism Act.

Reportedly, the ordinance amends a section of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), giving the authorities to take action against the UNSC-proscribed individuals and terror outfits, like freezing their bank accounts and sealing their offices, The Express Tribune reported.

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Pakistan’s National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) also confirmed the new move, saying the ministries of Interior, Finance and Foreign Affairs, as well as NACTA’s Counter Financing of Terrorism (CFT) wing, are working together on the matter.

An official in the Pakistan presidency familiar with the development confirmed the said legislation but refused to share details, saying the Ministry of Defence was the notifying authority.

“The relevant ministry will notify and comment on it,” the official said.

It is learnt that the authorities are bound under international obligations to take measures against such outfits under the framework of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) an international body that combats money laundering and terrorist financing.

The UNSC sanctions list includes Al-Qaeda, Tehreek-e- Taliban Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and others.

In December last year, the Pakistan government had planned to take over two organisation belonging to Hafiz Saeed, the JuD and the FIF and an action plan in this connection was supposed to be submitted.

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Last month, the government had also banned companies and individuals from making donations to the JuD, the FIF and other organisations.

Jundullah was the last organisation declared “proscribed” by the government of Pakistan on January 31, 2018, on the NACTA website. However, the JuD and the FIF continue to be on the NACTA “watch list”.

Lashkar-e-Taiba was declared a banned organisation under the UNSC resolution 1267 in 2005.

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