Islamabad: ‘Formal notification not required to proscribe Dawa’: Over 100 offices sealed, 50 leaders held
ISLAMABAD: The government has not issued any notification to formally proscribe JamaatudDawa more than 100 offices of which have been sealed across the country. Over 50 of its leaders have been arrested and names of 11 of its workers put on the Exit Control List. “There is no need to issue any such notification against the organisation once it is banned by the UN,” a senior official of the interior ministry who did not want to be named told Dawn on Saturday. Pakistan, he said, had not banned the organisation but being a signatory to the UN charter the government was under obligation to implement the decisions of the world body and take action against the Dawa. The official said following the imposition of sanctions on Dawa by the UN, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry has issued a SRO that confirmed the ban.
He claimed that two other charity organisations Al–Rasheed Trust and Al-Akhtar Trust had been banned in the past by the UN under article 1267 of its charter. “In that case too no notification was issued by the government to further proscribe the two trusts,” the official said.
“Even the restriction imposed against the Dawa were spelt out in the article 1267 of the UN which suggests freezing of bank accounts, detentions, ban of travelling, arms embargo etc,” the official said.
Giving details about the operation against Dawa, the official said so far 109 of its offices had been sealed across the country and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
A source in the interior ministry said the government was considering taking over the public welfare institutions of Dawa to run them for the benefit of the people.
In this connection, the federal government is likely to contact provincial government in the near future, seeking its proposals on how these institutions could be run.
According to police sources, members of JamaatudDawa have been detained in Sindh, Punjab, NWFP and AJK, where the charity is reported to be especially active.
Sindh Home Secretary Arif Ahmed Khan said that more than 40 people had been detained and 30 Dawa offices had been sealed.
A spokesman for the charity in the NWFP said that 150 people had been arrested and 42 offices closed.
Defending the government’s move, Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar said “we are part of the international community and cannot afford confrontation with the whole world”.
“Had we not implemented the resolution we would have been declared a terrorist state,” he added.
Hafiz Saeed’s son, Mohammad Talha Saeed, said a legal challenge would be mounted in Pakistan’s courts and possibly the International Court of Justice against the crackdown against the Dawa. “There is no moral or legal justification for this action,” he said.