• Thursday, December 08, 2022

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UK sanctions former boss of terror group

Pakistan security officials inspect the blood-stained floor a day after a bomb attack hit the 13th century Muslim Sufi shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in the town of Sehwan in Sindh province, some 200 kilometres northeast of the provincial capital Karachi, on February 17, 2017. At least 70 people were killed and hundreds wounded when a bomb ripped through a revered Sufi shrine in southern Pakistan. (Photo by ASIF HASSAN/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

BRITAIN on Friday (10) sanctioned a former boss of a terrorist organisation over his role in bombing a shrine in Pakistan.

Furqan Bangalzai, a former commander in the terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, allegedly helped orchestrate the 2017 bombing of the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in Pakistan.

The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is an Afghanistan-based jihadist organisation which also operates in Pakistan.

Designating Bangalzai for his role in the attack, in which more than 70 Sufi worshipers were killed, reinforces the UK’s commitment to defending religious freedom where minority faith groups face persecution, the government said.

Following the sanction, Bangalzai cannot freely travel to the UK, channel money through its banks or profit from its economy.

Britain also announced new sanctions against the Myanmar military for their “continued suppression” of the civilian population and for “serious human rights violations”.

It said the sanctions were made alongside the US and Canada.

Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon, the minister of state for south Asia, the UN, and the Commonwealth, said the sanctions targeted some of the “most callous” violations and abuses of human rights, including cases where civilians suffer unrelenting state repression and worshippers have been targeted and killed for their religious beliefs.

“We will work with our fellow democracies and partners, as a network of liberty, to hold to account those who deny these fundamental freedoms,” Lord Ahmad, who is also the prime minister’s special representative on preventing sexual violence in conflict, said.

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