Banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa resurfaces in Pakistan

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Lahore, Feb 6 (ANI): Thousands of supporters of the banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the charity arm of terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba, held a 'Kashmir Solidarity Conference' on The Mall, despite a UN ban on the organisation.

Participants arriving from various districts held black and white JuD flags and shouted their usual slogans. They had gathered under a 'temporary' new name, Tehrik-e-Azadi-e-Kashmir (TAK).

The banned charity agreed on the name in a meeting of its divisional leaders from across the country at the Markazul Qadsia in Chauburji on Sunday, the Daily Times quoted sources privy to the meeting, as saying.

A permanent new name has not been finalised as the group continues activism on various issues under various names, an operative said - for example, a movement to protest Israel's attack on Gaza was named Tehrik-e-Qibla-e-Awwal.

Thursday's rally was the first public gathering of supporters of the banned charity since the ban. A police contingent was deployed at the scene.

Operatives holding Dawa flags were deputed at various spots in the city to welcome supporters arriving from other districts and collect donations.

Receipts carried the name of the banned charity's Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) trust, and the address: "Department of Revenue, Markazul Qadsia, Chauburji, Lahore". Telephone numbers were also printed on the receipts.

"The FIF is a Jamaat-ud-Dawa trust but it has not been banned," a member said.

Another FIF activist, who identified himself as Hamza, said the foundation was not linked to the banned charity and had been working for the independence of Kashmir for a long time. But he did not respond when asked why he was carrying a Dawa flag.

A spokesman for the banned organisation said most of the participants carried his outfit's flags, but the TAK was a joint forum of various political and religious parties. He asked not to be named. (ANI)

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