Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pakistan bans Jamaat-ud-Dawa, shuts offices

The Pakistan government has banned the charity group Jamaat-ud-Dawa and has ordered the closure of all offices of the group, a TV channel reported.

The Dawn News TV channel quoted Rehman Malik, advisor to the prime minister on interior affairs, as saying that Pakistan has banned the group with immediate effect and its activities were under observation.

A government official said that authorities had been ordered to close the offices of Jamaat-u-Dawa.

"Instructions have been issued to seal Jamaat-ud-Dawa offices in all the four provinces as well as Azad Kashmir," said interior ministry spokesman Shahidullah Baig, referring to Pakistani-administered Kashmir.

"Now the orders will be implemented."

Earlier in the day, Pakistan said it will fulfil its obligations under a UN Security Council statement targeting four members of Lashkar-e-Taiba and charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa linked to the banned Islamist group.

The statement, which gave no further details, came after the UN Security Council sanctions committee targeted four members of the group blamed for the Mumbai attacks, and a charity widely viewed as its political arm, for an assets freeze and other sanctions.

"Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that Pakistan has taken note of the designation of certain individuals and entities by the UN under 1267 resolution of the UN Security Council and would fulfil its international obligations," a government statement said.

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