Lashkar chief says will approach ICJ over UNSC sanctions

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Lahore, Dec.11 (ANI): The chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the political wing of the banned militant organization, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Hafiz Mohammed Saeed has said that he will approach the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to arbitrate on the imposition of sanctions on the outfit by the United Nations Security Council.

Addressing a telephonic press conference here on Thursday, Hafiz Saeed sought to put up a defiant stance, claiming that it was concerned by the international clampdown and would contact the UN to clear its position.

Reacting to the ban imposed by the UN Security Council by a unanimous decision, Hafiz Saeed said, "Jamaat-ud-Dawa has never been involved in terrorist activities and its main focus remains essentially on humanitarian aid activities and education".

He claimed his group was not involved in the Mumbai carnage but said his organisation would admit its mistakes provided it was proved that it was in any way linked to the attacks, which left a trail of death and destruction.

"We are saddened by the Mumbai attacks but we are not involved in such acts which lead to the murder of innocent people," Saeed said.

"Our country is a member of the UN and if there are restrictions and if they act according to the law, then it's alright. If it is proved that we have done anything, we will admit it," he added.

Saeed said the allegations leveled by India against his group at the UN were "baseless and unfounded".

India, Saeed claimed, always resorted to "propaganda" against his group.

"There was no operation on any Jamaat-ud-Dawa office. As far as Zakiur Rehman (Lakhvi) is concerned, he is a leader of a Kashmiri group. He should not be linked to Jamaat-ud-Dawa," he claimed.

The Jamaat chief claimed he had never met or seen Ajmal Amir, the lone gunman captured alive by Indian security forces during the Mumbai attacks.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) banned the political wing of the banned militant organization Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, on Wednesday.

The Security Council has also declared it a terrorist organization.

A committee of the UN Security Council placed financial sanctions on four members of the LeT, as well as the charitable organization that Indian and U.S. officials say serves as the Lashkar's financial front, according to the U.N.

The four members are Hafiz Saeed, the leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba; Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, its chief of operations; and two finance officials, Haji Mohammad Ashraf and Mahmoud Ahmed Bahaziq.

The US Treasury Department had imposed sanctions against the same four persons in May. The UN sanctions include the mandatory freezing of assets and travel bans.

Earlier, Pakistan's Permanent Representative to the UN, Abdullah Hussain Haroon, had confirmed that India has approached to UN Security Council to get Jamaat-ud-Dawa banned.

He said that Pakistan is ready to ban the suspected outfit if the UN requests Islamabad to do so, adding that the Jamaat-ud-Dawa's bank accounts could also be freezed.

The Pakistan envoy's missive came as a tough-talking India urged the UN Security Council to declare the Jamaat-ud-Dawa a terrorist outfit.

During the course of a debate at the Security Council on terrorism, India's Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed asserted without naming Pakistan that the country, from where the terrorist attack originated and was planned, should take immediate steps to stop their operations.

India and the US have said that the Lashkar-e-Toiba and its leaders are involved in the Mumbai terrorist attacks.

India in a letter Friday had formally asked the UN Security Council to declare the Jamaat-ud-Dawa as a terrorist outfit. It also demanded that its leader Hafiz Mohammed Saeed be placed under the Security Council list of global terrorists.

The November 26 Mumbai terrorist attacks dominated the proceedings of this special meeting of the Security Council, wherein member nations not only condemned the heinous attack, but also underlined the need to bring those responsible for it to justice. (ANI)

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