Islamabad, Jan 25: Contrary to reports, the Pakistan government has not banned Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD) outfit, headed by Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, and only some actions have been initiated against it.
Without being specific, the sources indicated that no ban has been imposed on the outfit, which is a front for Lashkar-e Taiba terror group that carried out the attack in Mumbai in November 2008 besides many other strikes in India.
Interestingly, the reports about the 'ban' had emerged just before the visit of US President Barack Obama to India to be the Chief Guest for the Republic Day besides holding talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Pakistan has yet said nothing officially on it. Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit, when asked about the reports of 'ban', merely said yesterday in New Delhi, "We are proceeding strictly in accordance with UN resolution and Jamaat's (JuD) bank account has been frozen and there is a ban on the travelling abroad of its leadership..."
Interestingly, the National Counterterrorism Authority (Nacta) of Pakistan has removed the list of proscribed organisations from its official website.
This "is being seen as an attempt to add more confusion to the ongoing debate whether Haqqani Network and Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) have been banned or not," The Nation daily reported.
Dawn journalist Amir Mir, known for his hold on security Dawn journalist Amir Mir, known for his hold on security matters, wrote in the paper today that no fresh steps have been taken against JuD.
"There is nothing new in the Pakistani Foreign Office spokesperson's declaration about freezing of the JuD assets and placing travel restrictions on Hafiz Saeed since these measures had been announced by the then PPP government six years ago, way back in December 2008, when the United Nations Security Council had listed the JuD as a global terrorist organisation following the Mumbai terrorist attacks," the story said.
It added that despite "bewildering" media reports, the fact remains that no fresh steps have been taken against the JuD, which is still being kept on the watchlist of the Ministry of Interior and has not yet been included in the list of the banned organisations by the Pakistan government.
The Dawn also had a similar report by seasoned journalist Mariana Baabar titled "JuD not banned yet".
"Though the Nawaz Sharif government has excelled in creating confusion these past two years, it is mandatory on it to at least make a public statement clearly stating whether a complete ban has been put on JuD or not and what it means for the organisations.
"If the security establishment, which has strong links with JuD and other Jihadi groups, does not wish at this point to ban these organisations, then it should say so clearly," the report said.