Pakistan on Saturday added Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed and his aide Qazi Kashif to its Anti-Terrorism Act which curtails their movement within the country, Dawn reported. They are already on the nation’s exit control list.
An official confirmed that their names, along with three other “active members of the Jamaatud Dawa and Falah-i-Insaniyat”, have been added to the list of 1,450 “fourth schedulers” following an order from the federal interior ministry. The official said the names of three more prisoners, who have been transferred from Guantanamo Bay to Pakistan, had also been placed on the list.
The JuD had requested Pakistan’s Interior Ministry to remove Saeed and 37 others from the country’s Exit Control List on the grounds that the outfit was not involved in any terrorist activities, The Express Tribune reported. In its application, the JuD had said that was an organisation “dedicated to the welfare of citizens of the country”. “It has set up 142 schools and four universities in the country and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation [a sister outfit] is sufficient proof to this effect,” the application had said.
The Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 gives the government the power to list a person as “proscribed”, and to place that person on the fourth schedule on an ex-parte basis.
“Pressure from the US”
A Pakistani defence ministry official told Reuters that Pakistan had been feeling pressure from the US since President Donald Trump took over, as he “is taking hard decisions against Muslim countries”. The US has said the JuD is a front for the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba militant organisation. India had named Saeed, LeT and JuD the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai attack.
Earlier this month, the outfit and its supporters had threatened to launch countrywide protests on February 5 unless the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks mastermind was released. Since Saeed’s house arrest on January 30, rallies have been held in a number of regions in Pakistan, including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Lower Dir and Mansehra. JuD members have held demonstrations, holding up placards and chanting anti-India and anti-US slogans.