When U.S. President Barack Obama lands in New Delhi the coming weekend, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), headed by Hafiz Saeed, a 26/11 accused, will hold a massive public rally in Karachi, putting paid to reports that Pakistan had assured the U.S. of a crackdown on the organisation.
With Saeed and the JuD planning to go ahead with their so-called “million march” on Sunday in protest against the French magazine Charlie Hebdo’s latest cartoons of Prophet Mohammad, it is clear the reports were unsubstantiated.
Pak. denies move to ban JuD
Pakistani Interior Ministry sources have denied any move to ban the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), headed by Hafiz Saeed, and other terror organisations, but said the groups were on the “watch list.”
Media reports had said Pakistan had assured the U.S. of a crackdown on the banned organisation as President Barack Obama is visiting India.
The reports, which were officially denied by Pakistan’s Ambassador to the U.S. Jalil Abbas Jilani on Tuesday, said the U.S. had warned Pakistan against any terror activity during Mr. Obama’s visit to India, and Secretary of State John Kerry had received assurances on a crackdown on all terror groups, including the JuD.
Indian government sources told The Hindu they had not been informed by the Pakistani government of any move to ban the JuD, and expected that the extremist group, which had gone silent after the Peshawar school massacre, would be “back in business.” “The JuD was slightly on the defensive post-Peshawar,” said an official. “The cartoons issue has provided them an opportunity [to resurface].”
Saeed has called for a series of protests across Pakistan for Friday that will culminate in the “million march” in Karachi on January 25. The “million march”, JuD organisers say, will bring in a crowd bigger than the JuD’s Lahore rally on December 4 of more than a lakh. India criticised the Lahore rally, calling it “mainstreaming of terror.”
In an interview to The Hindu last week, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had called upon the Pakistan government to “take necessary and corrective measures in accordance with the UNSC’s designated terrorist counter-terrorism policies.” Mr. Ban was referring to Saeed’s public appearances as he and the JuD are on the U.N. global terrorist lists, banned as affiliates of al-Qaeda, as well as designated Foreign Terrorist Entities by the U.S.
In the past week, the U.S. State Department “welcomed” reports that Pakistan planned to ban the JuD and 11 other groups, including the Haqqani network.