By Islamuddin Sajid/Aamir Latif
ISLAMABAD/KARACHI (AA) - Pakistani authorities have began taking control of offices and financial assets of two charities linked to Hafiz Saeed, who has already been designated a terrorist by the U.S., an official said.
According to the daily Dawn, the government in southeastern Punjab province have taken over the schools, seminaries and health facilities of Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) and Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF).
Jamaatud Dawa, formerly Lashkar-e-Taiba, was branded as terrorist by the U.S. and India for its alleged involvement in 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack that killed over 150 people.
"The federal interior minister has ordered all the provincial governments to take control of the charities and we are following the orders," Rana Sanullah, law minister of Punjab, told Anadolu Agency on phone.
Reacting to the government’s move, a JuD spokesman said the action is an attempt to "appease the U.S and India".
"The government is confiscating the JuD and FIF’s assets just to appease U.S and India, which is affecting our humanitarian services, especially in health and education sectors across the country," Yahya Mujahid, a JuD spokesman, told reporters.
He said the JuD would challenge the action in the courts.
The crackdown came after reports emerged that Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will consider the U.S.-sponsored motion to put Pakistan on a list of countries failing to prevent terrorism financing.
The FATF meeting scheduled to be held on February 18-23 in Paris.
Pakistan, however, appears to be confident that the U.S. move to place Pakistan on a list of countries failing to prevent terrorism financing, will not succeed.
"There is no justification for the U.S. move as we have already taken the required actions,” Miftah Ismail, an advisor to the prime minister on finance, who effectively acts as the finance minister, told local broadcaster Geo News.
"The world is recognizing our sacrifices in war against terrorism and understanding our point of view. We are in touch with over 30 countries in this regard (to block the move)," he said.
"Insha’Allah (God willing) it will not succeed," he maintained.