Pakistan says it has followed the U.N.’s ban of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and that the accounts of all such banned groups have been frozen, but has not confirmed if the government has issued a new ban on the JuD and its chief, Hafiz Saeed.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said, “JuD and some other organisations are listed by the United Nations… we are required to freeze their assets and enforce travel curbs. We take that action.”
Ms. Aslam refused to comment on what recent actions had been taken against terror groups, but denied that any action was being taken under U.S. pressure after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Pakistan.
Indian officials said neither the government nor the Indian High Commission in Islamabad had received any word on any action being taken against Saeed and the JuD so far. “A ban on paper doesn’t mean much in any case,” one official told The Hindu . “It will be more important to see if they will be able to continue their public activities or not.”
Ms. Aslam’s comments come when all eyes are on protests against the French magazine Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons of Prophet Mohammad planned by the JuD across Pakistan on Friday and a “million march” rally called by Saeed in Karachi for Sunday, to see if the Pakistan government is planning a crackdown on the group.
Both the JuD and Saeed were banned by the U.N. under Resolution 1267 as an Al-Qaeda-affiliated group in 2008. In 2008 and 2010, Pakistan banned the JuD, but no restrictions seem evident on the activities of the group or its chief.
However, just last week, Saeed gave an interview attacking India on the television channel Aaj News. The websites and the twitter accounts of the JuD and its offshoot, Falah insaniyat Foundation, are still functional.
In the interview given on January 15, Saeed accused India of spreading “propaganda against him” and backed Kashmiri militant “mujahids” operating inside Jammu and Kashmir. He also accused “Indian consulates in Afghanistan” of backing the TTP that carried out the Peshawar school massacre.
The inflammatory comments are significant given that they come days before U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to India at a time both Indian and U.S. officials are tracking a heightened terror alert.