Pakistan has banned a well-known Islamic charity implicated in the
Mumbai terrorist attacks. Pakistan's prime minister announced the move after meeting with
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte.
officials say they have ordered provincial officials to begin closing
down Jamaat ud Dawa offices and facilities, but it is unclear how
far-reaching the crackdown will be.
The prominent Islamic
charity claims to operate 172 schools, with more than 20,000 students
in all major Pakistani cities. The group also says it runs six
hospitals and more than 100 medical clinics.
Yousuf Raza Gilani released a brief statement saying Pakistan would
"fulfill its international obligations" under a U.N. resolution that
calls for freezing assets, banning travel and stopping arms shipments
to terrorist groups.
On Wednesday, the United Nations accused
Jamaat ud Dawa of being a front for Lashkar e Taiba - the militant
group blamed in the Mumbai attacks. The world body also added four
individuals to the banned list for links to LeT.
One of the
four, Jamaat ud Dawa leader Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, told reporters the
United Nations had hastily passed judgment on his organization.
says we do not accept this judgment. He says the United Nations did
not bother to listen to Pakistan or to our party in this decision.
Saeed said the group will petition the United Nations to reconsider.
ud Dawa describes itself as a conservative Islamic charity that focuses
on serving needy Pakistanis. It played a significant role in the
massive relief efforts following Pakistan's devastating 2005 earthquake
in Kashmir and more recently in the earthquake in Baluchistan.
the group has also long been suspected of serving as a front for
Lashkar e Taiba after it was banned by the Pakistani government in
During a news conference in Lahore, Hafiz Mohammed Saeed denied his group has any ties to the banned militant group.
says we are a Pakistani group with offices in Pakistan. He says
Lashkar e Taiba is in Kashmir, but he says it has no office or
facilities or anything like that in Pakistan.
describe Lashkar e Taiba as one of the largest and best trained
terrorist groups fighting India in Kashmir. In 2006, the United States
declared Jamaat ud Dawa a front for the Lashkar e Taiba and listed it
as a terrorist group - but the action had little effect on its
activities in Pakistan.