South Asia

Pakistan's Punjab Government allocates funds for JuD centre

A file photo of Pakistan's Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif (right) with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The Punjab government has allotted crores of rupees to JUD. Photo: AP  

Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the parent body of banned terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba that carried out the 2008 Mumbai attacks, has been allocated more than Rs. 6.1 crore in the budget for the current fiscal by Pakistan’s Punjab Province Government headed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N.

Besides the grant-in-aid of more than Rs. 6.1 crore in its budget for fiscal 2013-14 for ‘Markaz-e-Taiba’, the largest centre of the JuD, the provincial government has allocated Rs. 35 crore for setting up a “Knowledge Park” at the centre and other development initiatives.

Details of the allocations were presented in budget documents tabled in the Punjab Assembly on Monday by the PML-N Government led by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

One document stated: “Grant-in-aid to chief administrator Muridkey Markaz (is) Rs 61.35 million.“

The JuD’s centre is located at Muridkay on the outskirts of Lahore.

In his budget speech in the assembly, Finance Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman announced that the provincial government “intends to establish a Knowledge Park in Muridkey“.

He said the government had allocated Rs 35 crore for the park and several other initiatives in Punjab.

Shortly after the UN Security Council designated the JuD a front for the LeT in the wake of the Mumbai attacks, the Punjab government took over the centre in Muridkey.

At that time too, Punjab was ruled by the PML-N. Since then, the government has allocated money in its annual budget for the administration of the centre in Muridkey.

In 2009-10, the government provided more than Rs. 8.2 crore for the administration of JuD facilities.

In fiscal 2010-11, Chief Minister Sharif, using his discretionary powers, allocated two separate grants for JuD facilities.

The government granted Rs 7.98 crore for six organisations at Markaz-e-Taiba and a special grant-in-aid of Rs 30 lakhs for the JuD’s Al-Dawa School System in several districts of Punjab.

Officials have said in the past that the allocations were needed to continue “welfare services” provided by the JuD’s schools, dispensaries and hospitals across the province of 90 million people.

In the past, the Punjab Government defended its decision of allocating money to the JuD by saying the grants had been awarded for the administrator of the Markaz-e-Taiba.

There is no formal ban on the JuD and its chief, Hafiz Saeed, lives freely in Lahore despite a 10 million dollar bounty offered for him by the United States.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 12:54:06 AM |

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