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Ban on Hafiz Saeed outfits not lifted, says Pakistan Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain

Hafiz Saeed. File   | Photo Credit: Reuters

Pakistan Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain has said the nation was “bound by United Nations' resolutions” and that the ban on Hafiz Saeed’s organisations, including the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and the Falah-I-Insaniyat Foundation, has not been lifted.

“We are bound by the UN resolution [under United Nations Security Council 1267]. So there is no question of lifting the ban,” Mr. Hussain told The Hindu in an exclusive interview. “There is just a misconception because of the lapse of the [anti-terror] ordinance.”

 

Saeed's lawyers had made a submission in the Islamabad High Court that the ordinance had lapsed.

While the Pakistan government did not deny or confirm the development then, both New Delhi and Washington reacted sharply to the news.

‘Matter still under consideration’

Mr. Hussain said that while the Anti-terrorism Ordinance passed by the previous President in February 2018, which deemed all UNSC terror designations as binding on Pakistan’s law, had indeed lapsed as it hadn’t been passed by Parliament, the ban on the organisations was still operational.

“This is a matter still under consideration. The Law Ministry’s advice is awaited. The [JuD/LeT] organisation remains banned. The matter is now with the Law Ministry. So no final decision has been taken,” he said.

The ordinance was passed fpllowing pressure from the Financial Action Task Force, which decided to “grey list” the country unless it cracked down on the finances of terror groups banned by the UNSC.

According to the UNSC guidelines, banned groups like the LeT and Masood Azhar’s Jaish-e-Mohammed and their leaders cannot travel out of the country, have access to weapons or financing.

Stern missive from U.S.

Mr. Hussain’s statement follows a stern missive from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the 10th anniversary of the Mumbai attacks on November 26.

“We call upon all countries, particularly Pakistan, to uphold their UNSC obligations to implement sanctions against the terrorists responsible for this atrocity, including the LeT and its affiliates,” Mr. Pompeo said on Monday.

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Printable version | Mar 3, 2021 5:35:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ban-on-hafiz-saeeds-organisations-not-lifted-pakistan-information-minister-fawad-chaudhury/article25608349.ece

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