Written byKrunali Shah ·
Pakistan's government has planned to seize the control of charities and financial assets linked to Islamist leader Hafiz Saeed. Earlier, Washington had designated Saeed as a terrorist.
A document marked "secret" directed law enforcement and government to submit an action plan for taking over Saeed's two charities, Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and the Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF).
Here's all about it.
Due to international pressure, Punjab's provincial government had put Saeed under house arrest for 10 months for violating anti-terrorism laws.
However, he was released in November. Washington warned Islamabad of repercussions.
Meanwhile, in August, JuD formed a political party Milli Muslim League.
JuD and FIF are labeled as "terrorist fronts" for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). LeT, founded in 1987, is blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people. Saeed's network includes schools, hospitals, a publishing house and ambulance services. JuD and FIF have about 50,000 volunteers.
The "secret" document cites the "Financial Action Task Force issues" to take action against the two charities. FATF is an international body that combats money laundering and terror funding. They warned Pakistan of strict action if they fail to crack down on terror funding.
This prompted action by Pakistan. However, Pakistan said they are not "pleasing anyone" and are "working as a responsible nation."
Though few details are available, the take-over involves seizing ambulance services and other vehicles used by charity. Law enforcement agencies and Pakistan's intelligence will work in consonance to identify assets of the two charities and examine how they raised money.
If Pakistan does not follow through on this plan, it would probably face UN sanctions.
On the other hand, government will face opposition from the military, which had plans to push Saeed and JuD into mainstream-politics.
In case Pakistan does manage to go ahead with the plan of confiscating the charities, it will be the first time that constructive action is taken against Saeed.
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