China has requested Pakistan to relocate Hafiz Saeed chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) to a country in West Asia in response to mounting international pressure to act against him for being the head of various terror groups.
Chinese President Xi Jinping suggested this course of action — allowing Saeed to live a quiet life in a West Asian country — to Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on the sidelines of the Boao Forum in China last month. “Out of the 35-minute long meeting, at least 10 minutes were on Saeed. The Chinese President was keen on pressing the Prime Minister to find an early solution to keep Saeed away from the limelight,” a close aide of Mr. Abbasi told our freelance journalist, requesting anonymity.
Mr. Abbasi has consulted the government’s legal team, which has not come up with a solution. The issue is expected to be referred to the next government as the Prime Minister will leave office on May 31 after completion of his tenure. The general elections due in July end. It is expected to have a lot of controversies.
Charge on Pakistan government
The JuD has been accusing Government of Pakistan for taking action against Saeed under pressure from the U.S. and India.
Saeed, who met some journalists over Iftar on Tuesday in Karachi, refused to believe that China would want a ban on him or to see him out of the country. However, he admitted that China would behave like a superpower and dictate terms to Pakistan. He confirmed that no government official had met him in recent weeks to discuss the future of the JuD. He is expecting his ISI handlers to meet him soon.
Saeed, a global terrorist as declared by the United Nations, the U.S., and India, carries a reward of $5 million on his head for his alleged involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Saeed was put under house arrest by authorities last year for almost nine months but was forced to release him on the orders of the Lahore High Court. There are strong rumors that he was released under pressure from Pakistan Army which is the Deep State in Pakistan.
Earlier this year, the JuD was put on the list of banned organizations just before the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting in Paris. Following the meeting, it was decided to put Pakistan on the grey list for its failure to prevent terror financing.
The JuD was reported by Indonesia after the authorities detected some money channeled through the country by the outfit. Indonesia reportedly notified the FATF.
A Presidential Ordinance was issued for freezing all assets of Hafiz Saeed, linked to the JuD and its charity arm, Falah-i-Insaaniyat Foundation. These organisations are believed to be key financiers of terror around the world and in India in particular.
Interestingly, the JuD was not put in Schedule 1 of the Anti-Terrorism Act under which the leaders of a banned organization must be arrested. “The federal government is pleased to direct that requisite actions with regard to freezing and taking over of assets (movable, immovable and human resource) associated with the JuD and the FIF shall be taken in pursuance of ordinance No II of 2018,” read a notification of the Interior Ministry.
An Interior Ministry source said a formal notification to place JuD and FIF on Schedule I was held back. “Without the notification, the organization will not be formally admitted as a defunct organization,” he said. Another clue that JuD and FIF were not banned as claimed by the government is that their absence from the list of banned organizations maintained by the National Counter Terrorism Authority.
On the ground, the Punjab government took over the JuD’s madrassas and health facilities in Rawalpindi. The provincial government also issued a notification barring collection of donations by the JuD and the FIF. The JuD has a network of over 150 ambulances, six hospitals, 60 schools and scores of madrassas across Punjab and the Pakistan-administered Kashmir and northern areas. JuD also has many terror training camps facilitated by ISI and Pakistan Army.
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan issued a circular, in January this year, to all companies barring them from donating money to those entities put on the UNSC sanctioned list. The government has tabled a Bill to formalise ban on the JuD but as usual is yet to pass the same. The clout behind Hafiz Saeed i.e ISI is very strong and controls entire Deep State in Pakistan.
25 May 2018/Friday Written by Mohd Tahir Shafi