The Jamaat-ud-Dawa and its associate group Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation headed by Hafiz Saeed – the alleged mastermind of the 2008 attacks in Mumbai in which 160 people were killed – are no longer on the list of banned outfits in Pakistan, reported Dawn on Friday. In February, former President Mamnoon Hussain promulgated an ordinance amending the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, to declare the two outfits as proscribed groups.
Saeed’s counsel informed the Islamabad High Court that a presidential ordinance that put the organisations in the list of banned outfits had lapsed and the present government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan has not extended the ordinance. In February, former President Mamnoon Hussain promulgated an ordinance amending the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, to declare the two outfits as proscribed groups.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Saeed challenging the ordinance under which his organisations had been banned for being on the watch list of the United Nations Security Council.
Jamaat-ud-Dawa is believed to be a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba.
In his petition, Saeed contended that he set up Jamaat-ud-Dawa in 2002 and ended all ties with the banned militant organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba, but India had continued to malign the organisation for its past association with LeT.
Saeed said he was kept in detention in 2009 and 2017 due to India’s pressure. He said the UN Security Council passed a resolution against the Jamaat-ud-Dawa following which the government of Pakistan put it on the watch list, the plea said.
According to a list on Pakistan’s National Counter Terrorism Authority website updated on September 5, Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation are not banned, but are listed “under watch by the ministry of interior” category.
In September, Pakistan Supreme Court allowed the Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falahi Insaniyat Foundation to continue its relief and charity work in the country.