Under Global Pressure, Pakistan Declares 26/11 Mastermind Hafiz Saeed a Terrorist

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Hafiz Saeed, the 26/11 Mumbai blasts mastermind and Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief, has been declared a terrorist by Pakistan. 

This came after Pakistan Police on Monday removed barricades placed by members of Saeed's Jamaat-ud-Dawah outside the group's headquarters. The blockade had been set up a decade ago in the name of security. "We have removed blockades from 26 places. including JuD headquarters in accordance with the Supreme Court's orders," said DIG (Lahore) Dr Haider Ashraf.

 

On Tuesday, President Mamnoon Hussain signed an ordinance that brings all individuals and organisations banned by the United Nations Security Council, like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jamaat-ud-Dawah, and Harkat-ul Mujahideen, under the ambit of the amended Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), 1997.

There are a total of 27 banned outfits in the UN list and the amendment in Section 11-B and 11-EE of the ATA spells trouble for the likes of Saeed.

The move by Hussain comes days before the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting in Paris where rumours were rife of Pakistan being added to the grey list under pressure from the United States of America and India. Being on the list would increase the cost of doing international business and getting involved in cross-border transactions for Pakistan. The Islamic Republic was on this list in February 2012, a tag which stayed with it for three years.

Before this amendment, UN identified groups and people banned by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Pakistan from collecting donations in the country.

The amended ATA, which goes into effect immediately, will see assets of the banned organisations frozen.

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