ISLAMABAD: The government has ruled out the possibility of proscribing Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) in the near future and says there is no evidence of the charity organisation having been formed in place of the outlawed Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
Minister for States and Frontier Region retired Gen Abdul Qadir Baloch told the Senate on behalf of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan during the question hour on Tuesday that the United Nations Security Council had in a resolution listed the JuD as LeT with a new name, but no supporting evidence had been shared with Pakistan to establish the connection.
He said the organisation had been under observation in terms of Section 11-D of the Anti-Terrorism Act since Nov 15, 2003 and the provinces had been asked to keep a watch on its activities. The JuD will be proscribed if a report confirming its involvement in terrorism is received under Section 11-B of the ATA.
Under Section 11-B, an organisation is proscribed if the federal government has reasons to believe that it is linked to terrorism. Under the law, the government can place an organisation under observation for six months if it is suspected of being involved in terrorist activities. The period can be extended only after providing the organisation an opportunity of being heard.
Mr Baloch said that at present the JuD was engaged in charity and social work, operating hospitals, clinics, schools, ambulance service and religious institutions, and its offices had been closed between 2008 and 2010. But finally it was given a relief by the Lahore High Court.
The minister said that Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) had also been listed by the UNSC as a suspected charity having links with LeT, but did not say if it was also under observation.
He said two charities – Khuddam-ul-Islam and Jamaat-ul-Furqan – had been proscribed by the government for having been formed in place of the banned Jaish-i-Muhammad. He said Al-Akhtar Trust and Al-Rasheed Trust had been listed by the UNSC and Al-Rehmat Trust and Al-Anfaal Trust by the United States for their alleged links with Jaish-i-Muhammad.
Mr Baloch said an organisation proscribed under Section 11-B of the ATA 1997 was not allowed to carry out any activity, including charity work, under a different name.
In a written reply to a question, the interior ministry informed the Senate that two terrorist attacks on jails had been carried in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, one in 2012 and the other in 2013.
It said the subject of law and order had been devolved to the provinces under the 18th Amendment, but the federal government was assisting the provincial governments in their capacity and security efforts.
A comprehensive report on steps to strengthen security of jails in the provinces was also presented in the house.
According to the report, 173 army personnel and 208 Rangers had been deployed in Punjab jails and cellular jammers installed in 14 of them.
Adiyala jail in Rawalpindi has been declared as a high security prison under the Protection of Pakistan Act and security arrangements have been enhanced. High security prisons have been established by the Punjab government in Mianwali and Sahiwal.
According to the report, 980 personnel of the Sindh prison department have been trained by the army in weapon handling and firing. As many as 143 personnel of Rangers and FC have been deployed for jail security in Sindh. Central prisons in Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur and Larkana have been declared as high security jails.
The report says that 106 personnel of the army and 87 from “others” have been deployed in jails in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The house was informed that mobile phone jammers had been installed in Haripur jail and high security Mardan prison.
Quetta cantonment prison and jails in Gilgit and Diamer have been declared high security prisons.
Published in Dawn, July 8th, 2015