Pakistan government is adamant on lifting the ban over 2008 Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed’s two organisations doing ‘social welfare activities’, ‘Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) and Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF), even after a Pakistani court had allowed both the organisations to work under the realm of the law.
Justice Ameenuddin Khan, Justice at Lahore High Court, issued a notice to the interior ministry to file its reply on the April 23 petition filed by Hafiz Saeed, who challenged the government on announcing a ban on his two organisations doing the ‘social welfare activities’ and freezing their accounts.
A court official told PTI, “The LHC today allowed Saeed's JuD and FIF to work under the ambit of law but did not lift the government's ban on their social welfare activities.”
He added, “The two organisations will have to work according to the law after imposition of ban on them by the government.”
The next hearing of the matter will be on April 23, added the official.
Advocate AK Dogar, Saeed’s counsel, requested the court to arrange a full-bench hearing since this case was of ‘sensitive nature’. However, Justice Khan said that the full-bench hearing will take place in the next hearing.
Dogar told the court that the interior ministry had a issued a notification of freezing the organisations’ bank accounts and taking over their assets on February 10 under the Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Ordinance 2018.
Dogar said, “The government of Pakistan acted under the pressure of foreign powers including United Nations and India. Pakistan is a sovereign independent state and makes its own laws to govern its citizens. If there is a conflict between the laws of the land and any provision of United Nations Security Council Act, 1948, the law of the land shall prevail.”
Dogar, in addition, said that the FIF owned 369 ambulances, treated 6,00,000 patients, and helped 72,000 people in 2017, while adding that the JuD dug out 2,000 wells for the supply of water in Tharparkar, Baluchistan, and Balochistan.
The petitioned pleaded the court to declare the notification from the ministry as null and void.
Apart from Advocate Dogar, Saeed had challenged the Islamabad High Court, questioning the presidential ordinance under which his organisations had been banned for being on the watch-list of the United Nations (UN).
In February, President Mamnoon Hussain spread an order amending the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 with regards to banning of terrorist individuals and organisations to include entities listed by the UN Security Council.
In a move related with this, he declared the JuD and FIF, linked to Hafiz Saeed, as banned groups.
Saeed’s JuD is believed to be lead organisation for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which was responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai bomb blasts that killed around 166 people.
The LeT was declared as a foreign terrorist organisation by the UN in June 2014.