Wednesday, December 10, 2008

UNSC bans Lashkar front Jamaat-ud-Dawa

A committee of the United Nations Security Council has placed sanctions against Pakistan-based Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a front organisation for Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), declaring it a terrorist organisation.

The committee has added Jamaat and four Lashkar leaders to a list of firms and people facing sanctions for ties to al-Qaeda or the Taliban the UN said.

The terrorists added to the sanctions list include Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, which the UN statement described as the leader of the group.

The others are Pakistan-born Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the chief of operations, Haji Muhammad Ashraf, the chief of finance, and India-born Mahmoud Mohammad Ahmed Bahaziq, described as a financier for the group who served as its chief in Saudi Arabia.

The same four were hit with US Treasury Department sanctions in May. The UN sanctions, covered by Security Council resolution 1267 from 1999, include the mandatory freezing of assets and travel bans.

 

(Hafiz Muhammad Saeed (L) and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi)

Imposing the sanctions, the Council asked all member states to freeze their assets and imposed travel ban and arms embargo against them.

However, it remains to be seen whether Pakistan upholds the UNSC sanctions.

“This has happened after the visit of Zardari and Manmohan to the UN. The anti-terror mechanism put in place by both countries has started working. It's now up to Islamabad to take the final decision but I'm sure that they'll uphold UNSC decision. This is the result of cooperation between the two countries," Pakistan's UN Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon told CNN-IBN.

India had demanded a ban on the outfit following terrorist attacks in Mumbai which were suspected to have been orchestrated by Lashkar.

India had said that the so-called charity organisation Jamaat-ud-Dawa is but a front organisation for the outlawed terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba, which the UN banned in 2002.

Mumbai Crime Branch, in its investigations of the terror strike, has alleged that Lashkar head Zaki-ur-Rehman is the mastermind of the carnage. The other key players are Abu Hamza Kahafa and Hafiz Muhammad Saeed.

US TAKES A TOUGH STAND

The United States has said that it will be good if Pakistan "shifts" to a tougher approach towards Lashkar-e-Toiba, the prime suspect in the Mumbai terror attacks, which left at least 171 people dead.

"We're continuing to follow the reports. What we are looking to see, if there's going to be a shift in Pakistan into how they deal with LeT," The White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said.

"And if it proves out, over time, that there is that shift, then that would be a good one and something that we would welcome. But it's just… it's just too early for us to say," she said.

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