LAHORE: The federal and Punjab governments on Friday decided to detect and seize more properties of the outfits banned by the United Nations (UN) and also ordered action against non-functional or unregistered non-profit organisations (NPOs).
Even the working and assets of registered NPOs would also be scrutinised to single out those indulging in activities detrimental to national interest and disallowed by the UN, officials told Dawn.
The decisions were taken during a high-level meeting held at the provincial home department during which Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Director General Counter Terrorism Ahmad Farooq gave a briefing on restrictions imposed on proscribed outfits and their members under UN Security Council’s Resolution 1267.
Action planned against non-functional or unregistered non-profit organisations
The Punjab government has already seized 599 properties, mainly of the banned Jamaatud Dawa and Jaish-e-Mohammad. The properties include schools, seminaries and health facilities and their ambulances.
Officials said some other properties of the two outfits and other organisations might have been left unchecked and if such properties were traced, these would be seized.
They said the Punjab government had issued a pro forma to the divisional commissioners to help them check the working and financial affairs of the registered NPOs to assess whether any of them was involved in anti-state activities or terror financing.
At the meeting, National Counter Terrorism Authority Director General Mohammad Iqbal explained UN Security Council’s Resolution 1373 to highlight the sensitive nature of NPOs and said they would be strictly regulated.
Mr Iqbal ordered all deputy commissioners of the province to send detailed information about the NPOs working in the areas to the provincial home department at the earliest.
Punjab Additional Chief Secretary Syed Ali Murtaza said many such organisations were operating in the province without any registration. He said the NPOs had already been given an opportunity to get themselves registered and now stern action would now be taken against the unregistered NPOs acting under any garb like an organisation, society, trust or welfare body.
He said bank accounts and activities of NPOs would be closely monitored for strict regulation.
The foreign affairs ministry’s DG counter terrorism asked the homed department to confiscate all properties of banned outfits, including those donated to them by different people. Assets of those declared terrorists by the UN should also be frozen, he said.
The meeting was attended, among others, by the provincial secretary prosecution and officials of the home, health, social welfare, industries and excise departments. All deputy commissioners of Punjab took part in the meeting through video link.
Published in Dawn, July 6th, 2019