KARACHI: Amid confusion over whether the government had banned the Jamaatud Dawa, its chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed said on Saturday that restrictions were “nothing new” to the group and that JuD would continue with its public welfare and education projects.
“It has been going on over the past six years,” he said while answering a question at a press conference with Mufti Mohammad Naeem at Jamia Binnoria Al Alamia in the Site area.
“The courts have given us a clean chit and declared us as innocent and respected citizens of the country. But the media is exaggerating the six-year-old curbs imposed on JuD by the United Nations after the recent Foreign Office (FO) briefing.”
Earlier this week, the FO avoided confirming that JuD and the Haqqani network had been banned. Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said at a media briefing that JuD and some other organisations had been included in the sanctions list of the UN and Pakistan, being a member of the world body, was obliged to act against such outfits.
Hafiz Saeed said his organisation was actively involved in dozens of welfare projects benefiting poor people. “We are not going to abandon these projects.”
He said a certain class and group were targeting JuD to promote a certain agenda “but let me tell you that we are true Pakistanis and will defend the land and its ideology.”
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Earlier, the JuD chief met Mufti Naeem to invite him to participate in his organisation’s “Hurmat-i-Rasool (PBUH) march” to be held on Sunday in protest against the publication of controversial caricatures in a French magazine.
Mufti Naeem expressed concern over the government’s National Action Plan for countering terrorism and said every Pakistani wanted an end to terrorism and supported sensible steps of the government. “But one cannot allow a one-sided action against madressahs.
“We will appreciate the government if it targets terrorists and their handlers but treating all the seminaries in the same way is unjustified,” he said.
Published in Dawn, January 25th, 2015