Pakistan prohibits Hafiz Saeed outfits from taking charity

CNN Kashmir|02 Jan 2018|

Pakistan has prohibited collection of donations by Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF) as well as several such organisations named in a list of banned outfits by the UN Security Council.
The decision was taken by Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), the financial regulatory agency under the finance ministry, on December 19, sources said. It warned that non-compliance with the ruling could result in a heavy penalty.
“SECP prohibits all companies from donating cash to entities/individuals listed under the UNSC sanctions committee’s consolidated list,” reads the notification. In addition to JuD, LeT and FIF, other organizations barred from collecting donations include the Paasban-i-Ahle-Hadith and Pasban-i-Kashmir. Several other lesser known outfits too have been named in the notification.
“Non-compliance with SECP ruling could result in a hefty monetary fine. The government has already prescribed a penalty of up to Rs 10 million for non-compliance on the sanctions regime being implemented,” it said.
Sources said Pakistan’s civilian government plans to seize control of charities and financial assets linked to Saeed. Reuters quoted an official saying, “Pakistan’s civilian government detailed its plans in a secret order to various provincial and federal government departments on December 19.”
The implementation of the plan would mark the first time Pakistan has made a major move against Saeed’s network, which includes 300 seminaries and schools, hospitals, a publishing house and ambulance services. According to counter-terrorism officials, the JuD and FIF alone have about 50,000 volunteers and hundreds of other paid workers.
The official was present during one of several high-level meetings called to discuss the crackdown on outfits controlled by Saeed, the news agency said.
Sources said a December 19 document marked secret from the finance ministry directed law enforcement and governments in Pakistan’s five provinces to submit an action plan by December 28 for a “takeover” of JuD and FIF.
The US has declared JuD and FIF as terrorist fronts for LeT, the militant organisation that Washington and New Delhi blame for the 2008 attacks in Mumbai in which 166 people were killed.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international body that combats money laundering and terror financing, too has warned Pakistan that it faces inclusion on a watch list for failing to crack down on financing terrorism.
“I have ordered authorities to choke the fundraising of all proscribed outfits in Pakistan,” home minister Ahsan Iqbal said when asked about a crackdown on JuD and FIF.

Officials at the meeting had also raised the possibility that the government’s failure to act against the charities could lead to UN sanctions. A Security Council team is due to visit Pakistan in late January to review progress against UN-designated “terrorist” groups.
“Any adverse comments or action suggested by the team can have far-reaching implications for Pakistan,” said an official who had attended the Dec 19 meeting.

“The Dec 19th document gave few details about how the state would take over Saeed’s charities, pending the plans submitted from the provincial governments. It did say it would involve government entities taking over ambulance services and accounting for other vehicles used by the charities,” the report said.

The document also directs that the name of JuD’s 200-acre headquarters, Markaz-e-Taiba, near the eastern city of Lahore, be changed “to make it known that the Government of Punjab solely manages and operates the markaz (headquarters).