PAKISTAN BANS HAFIZ SAEED’S NEW TERROR FRONT TEHREEK-E-AZAD-JAMMU KASHMIR

The article originally appeared on India Today.

After placing Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD)’s Hafiz Saeed under house arrest on January 30, Pakistan has now banned his new terror front Tehreek-e-Azadi-Jammu & Kashmir (TAJK).

JuD was declared a terrorist outfit by the US in 2014 and and was again put under the watch list on January 27. The Pakistan’s National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) put TAJK on the list of proscribed organisations on June 8, forcing Saeed to run his activities under the TAJK banner. Hafiz Saeed had adopted the name JuD after its terror outfit, Laskar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) that basically perpetrates terror in India, was banned by Pakistan on 14 January 2002 under international pressure.

However, it did not affect him. In December 2008, the UN Security Council, under its Resolution 1267, imposed sanctions on JuD and Hafiz Saeed for supporting Al Qaeda and Taliban. India had named Hafiz Saeed, LeT and JuD as the perpetrators of the series of terrorist attacks in Mumbai in November 2008. Since then there has been an unending drama of Hafiz Saeed being put under house arrest or detained cursorily before being set free even if the US declared a bounty of USD 10 million on his head in 2012.

Things took a turn after Donald Trump was elected president in the United States. The US clearly told Pakistan to act against JuD after its name prominently figured in the report of the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering. If Pakistan failed to comply to this it would be put on the list of blacklisted countries in the International Cooperative Review Group (ICRG). That would make it necessary for Pakistan to put a formal request each time it went about transacting any business through any of the international financial institutions.

Left with no other option, Pakistan had to put Hafiz Saeed under house arrest on January 30. Even if symbolic, it made a huge difference that we can see now with TAJK ban, as Donald Trump is completing six months in office. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump in a joint statement, during Indian PM’s US tour, labeled Pakistan a terror haven. Not to mention the US has designated Pakistan-based Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin as a global terrorist.

Pakistan, probably, was expecting all this to happen, and therefore would have decided to act on Hafiz Saeed’s new terror front before it became another international rallying point against it.

©SantoshChaubey

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