Central & South Asia
Pakistan group hit by UN sanctions
Jamaat-ud-Dawa alleged to have links to armed group accused of role in Mumbai attacks.
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2008 12:22 GMT

The sanctions against Jamaat-ud-Dawa come in the wake of last month's deadly assaults in Mumbai [AFP]

A UN Security Council panel has said that a charity based in Pakistan is a front group for the organisation blamed by India for last month's deadly attacks on Mumbai.

Jamaat-ud-Dawa is operating for Lashkar-e-Taiba, also a Pakistan-based group, and is subject to UN sanctions on terrorist organisations, the al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee said on Wednesday.

The panel also approved the designation of four people suspected of involvement in the Mumbai attack as terrorists.

The men include Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Lashkar's chief of operations, whose arrest was announced by Pakistan on Wednesday.

The others are Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief; Haji Muhammad Ashraf, its chief of finance; and Mahmoud Mohammad Ahmed Bahaziq, a financier with the group.

The sanctions package against Jamaat-ud-Dawa came a day after India appealed to the Security Council that restrictions be imposed on the group.

Asset freeze

The sanctions against Jamaat-ud-Dawa and the four individuals include an asset freeze, ban of travel and an arms embargo.

The UN panel has designated Lashkar-e-Taiba as a terrorist organisation affiliated with al-Qaida since 2005, while the US and European Union also have sanctions against the group.

Lakhvi is among the four sanctioned by the UN EPA]
The sanctions package against Jamaat-ud-Dawa comes as New Delhi presses Islamabad to act against armed groups based on Pakistani soil.

The Indian government has said that individuals based in Pakistan were responsible for a string of co-ordinated attacks on Mumbai, India’s financial capital, which left at least 171 people dead.

Lakhvi was arrested during a raid on Sunday in Pakistani Kashmir, Yousuf Raza Gilani, Pakistan’s prime minister, said on Wednesday.

Pakistani authorities have also held Zarrar Shah, an alleged Lashkar leader.

But Pakistani officials say that India is not supplying evidence from its investigation of the Mumbai attack, highlighting the tense relationship between the two nuclear-armed countries.

Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which emerged in 2002 after Pakistan's government banned Lashkar, runs a chain of medical clinics and schools.

Saeed, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief, said on Wednesday that his group has no link to Lashkar.

"No Lashkar-e-Taiba man is in Jamaat-ud-Dawa and I have never been a chief of Lashkar-e-Taiba," he told Pakistan's Geo television.

India's most wanted

Lashkar is believed to have been created with the assistance of Pakistan's military and intelligence services as a proxy force in Indian-administered Kashmir.

The UN sanctions panel also referred to a several other organisations as aliases for the al-Rashid and al-Akhtar trusts, which have raised funds for Lashkar.

India's foreign minister told parliament on Thurday that India wants Pakistan to hand over 40 people that it believes are behind violent attacks and other crimes.

Speaking during a debate on the Mumbai attacks, Pranab Mukherjee said: "We have given them lists of 40 persons, not one, not 20 - lists of 40 persons - and we have also pointed out that their denial is not going to resolve the issue."

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