PAKISTAN last Wednesday (14) began seizing assets from Jamaat-ud-Daawa (JuD), a UN-designated terrorist organisation, whose leader Hafiz Saeed is a lead suspect in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, officials said.
The move comes as Washington piles pressure on Pakistan to take action against Saeed after he was released from house arrest in the eastern city of Lahore.
The interior ministry ordered authorities to take over “assets (moveable, immoveable and human resource) associated with” two of Saeed’s organisations, according to a notification dated to February 10.
A senior interior ministry official confirmed the order.
The official said medical centres and ambulances owned by Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) – the charitable wing of Saeed’s JuD – were taken into “state custody” last Wednesday.
“Medical centres owned by FIF have been taken over by the government,” the official said.
The move comes after Pakistan quietly amended its anti-terror laws to ban organisations listed as terrorists by the UN. The change was made by president Mamnoon Hussain on February 9 and published by the law ministry last Monday (12).
“The amendment means that all individuals and entities listed by the UN also stand banned under Pakistani laws now,” a senior government official said.
The JuD spokesperson was not available for comment.
Observers say Pakistan fears being put on money laundering and terrorist financing lists.
Saeed’s JuD is believed to be a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a militant group that battles Indian troops in Kashmir and was blamed for the Mumbai attacks.
Six Americans were among those killed during the three-day siege in the Indian city, when gunmen who arrived by sea sparked battles with Indian commandos.