Pakistan Declares Hafiz Saeed A Terrorist, Restricts All UNSC-Banned Terrorist Outfits

| February 13 , 2018 , 09:56 IST

In a significant step against terrorism, the President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain on Monday signed an ordinance bringing all individuals and organisations banned by the UN Security Council (UNSC) under Pakistan's Anti-Terrorism Act, including 26/11 terror attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed.

The ordinance amending a section of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of Pakistan enables authorities to take action against individuals and terror outfits proscribed by the UNSC, by sealing their offices and freezing their bank accounts, local media reported.

The UN Security Council sanctions list includes terrorist outfits Al-Qaeda, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) as well as LeT chief Hafiz Saeed.

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According to reports, the Pakistan authorities are bound under international obligations to take action against such proscribed outfits as per the framework of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) an international body which combats money laundering and terrorist financing.

Although the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) website mentions Jundullah as the last organisation 'proscribed' by the Pakistan government, sources confirmed that the new names would be added onto the list.

In November 2017, Hafiz Saeed was released from house arrest by the Pakistan government, citing a lack of 'evidence', however, he continues to be listed as a designated terrorist by the United Nations and as a 'Specially Designated Global Terrorist' by the US.

The US State Department in 2014 named Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), which is considered to be a front for LeT, as a "foreign terrorist organisation", freezing its assets under US jurisdiction.

Pakistan has been criticised internationally for its perceived inaction towards safe havens for terrorists on its soil, with the US suspending nearly $2 billion aid to Pakistan in January 2018.