JuD hold protests against possible ban

Islamabad [Pakistan], Jan. 31 : Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) took to the streets outside the National Press Club here against reports that it is likely to be placed in the list of banned groups.

According to Pakistan media reports, action was likely to be taken against Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) and its Islamabad chapter.

"All this is being done by the new U.S. president (Donald Trump) to please the right wing extremist ruling party (BJP) in India," the Dawn quoted Shafeequr Rehman, the head of JuD Islamabad, as telling the gathering.

He said JuD was operating one of the best organised philanthropist groups in Pakistan, Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF) and there was no proof of its involvement in any illegal activity.

Similar demonstrations were also held in other parts of the country. A senior official said, "The statement by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Monday noon said that the issue of JuD was being reviewed too is a strong indication." Khan confirmed that the government is reviewing the case of the JuD.

The minister further said that the JuD had been on the UN watch list for more than ten years. Khan said certain actions were being taken by the state against groups under the UN watch list which had not been taken in the past.

Dismissing reports that the security apparatus had directed the JuD leadership to remove their banners, JuD Islamabad spokesman Mohammad Asif said, "We are not involved in anything illegal, and currently even our donation boxes remain placed where they were." According to an official reply submitted to the National Assembly by Minister of State for Interior Balighur Rehman, the JuD was placed under observation in Pakistan in January 2007.

However, the Interior Minister said on Monday that JuD was placed in the watch list in 2005. "We have already filed a petition with the IHC against the inclusion of JuD in the watch list under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 for such a long period of time with the request to remove it from the list," the JuD spokesman said.

The petition was filed on behalf of JuD leader Hafiz Mohammad Saeed on January 18. The United Nations placed both JuD and its financial organisation Falah-i-Isaniyat Foundation on its watch list in December 2008 and March 2012, respectively.

Saeed said both the JuD and the Falah-i-Isaniyat Foundation should be taken off the watch list as there is no report or complaint against the party or against him.

Source: ANI