LAHORE, Jan 25: The government of Punjab took control of the headquarters of the banned Jamaatud Dawa on Sunday and appointed an administrator, who would also oversee its various organisations, including charity hospitals, seminaries and other educational institutions, and agricultural projects.

A police post has been set up outside the Dawa headquarters in Muridke.

The Jamaatud Dawa, it may be mentioned, has been accused by India of being linked to the Mumbai attacks.

Administrator Khaqan Babar visited the headquarters on Sunday, along with Lahore Commissioner Khusro Pervaiz Khan who is said to be the overall incharge of the affairs of the banned outfit, and inspected various facilities. They were accompanied by Sheikhupura DCO Salman Ejaz, the region’s DIG, district police officer (DPO) and officials of the health and auqaf departments.

Chief Secretary Javed Mehmood told Dawn that the administrator would control the affairs of the Muridke facilities of Dawa, including its hospital, college, school, hostel and seminary.

Sources said that officials of the departments of education, health and auqaf would be appointed to assist the administrator in running the organisation’s set-ups.

According to our Sheikhupura correspondent, the central office of Jamaatud Dawa which was now functioning under the name of Jamaatul Tulaba was sealed on Sunday and handed over to the administrator by Lahore Commissioner Khusro Pervaiz Khan, DCO and DPO. A contingent of police was there to ensure a peaceful transfer of control.

AP adds: Sheikhupura DCO Salman Ejaz said all assets and properties of the charity in Punjab were now under the provincial government’s control.

Asked why it took so long for the government to take over the Muridke site, officials said it was a complicated task.

After the initial crackdown and assessment of the group’s operations, “we are going for total regulation under government control”, Punjab Home Secretary Nadeem Hasan said. “All things cannot happen in one go.”