Lahore, Dec.15 (ANI): The December 10 UN ban on two Pakistani charity groups - the Al-Rashid Trust and the Al-Akhtar Trust - is actually meant to cripple the financial support of the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), led by Maulana Masood Azhar.
According an analysis appearing in The News, while neither of the two proscribed trusts have anything to do with the Jamaat-ud- Daawa (JuD) led by Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the UNSC notification banning them appears to be largely motivated by their alleged links to some al-Qaeda and Taliban-linked Pakistani Jihadi organizations.
In fact, the Al-Rashid Trust, also operating as the Al-Amin Trust, was directly linked to the Jan 23, 2002 abduction and subsequent murder of the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.
The abductors linked to a mixed crew of Pakistani militant groups, including Masood Azhar's right-hand man Sheikh Ahmed Omar Saeed, held Daniel Pearl in a two-room hut in the compound of a commercial nursery in Gulshan-e-Maymar area of Karachi owned by the Al-Rashid Trust, where he was finally slaughtered.
Six years after Daniel's gruesome beheading, the Trust and the Jaish still share office spaces across Pakistan with a certain overlapping of the cadre strength.
However, it is not for the first time that these charities have been banned due to their alleged links with extremist Jihadi organisations.
On Sept 22, 2001, hardly 10 days after the 9/11 terror attacks, the State Department had banned the Al-Rashid Trust and the Al-Akhtar Trust for their alleged involvement in the financing and supporting of a network of international terrorist groups.
The Pakistani government subsequently moved against these charities in January 2002 freezing their assets and accounts.
The State Department's fact-sheet stated that the Al-Rashid Trust and the Al-Akhtar Trust were relief agencies that had been used by al-Qaeda to move supplies into Kandahar.
Two years later, on Oct 14, 2003, the Treasury Department designated both these trusts as terrorist support groups and called upon the United Nations to follow suit with a similar designation.
n the other hand the Al-Akhtar Trust, which also uses the name of Pakistan Relief Foundation, has been banned twice before in 2001 and 2003. (ANI)