Pakistan bans Hafiz Saeed's charities

Pakistan bans Hafiz Saeed's charities

Punjab province's law minister, Rana Sanaullah, said the central Ministry of Interior had issued a notification against the two charities, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) on Monday.

The amendment allows proscription of terrorist individuals and organisations that have been listed by the UNSC as terror organisations.

FATF maintains a grey and blacklist that identifies countries supporting money laundering and terror financing.

The FATF meeting scheduled to be held on February 18-23 in Paris.

"We have received the interior ministry directions, and according to that, Hafiz Saeed and his charities, like JuD and FIF, have been banned to operate in Pakistan", Sanaullah told Reuters.

The official said that the government had directed the district administration to also check the details of students and teachers of the JuD-run seminaries as well as doctors and paramedical staff of the FIF dispensaries. Sindh government, however, showed its inability to take over the humanitarian operations across the province operated by FIF, he added.

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He said the JuD would challenge the action in the courts.

"There is no justification for the USA 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.

Miftah Ismail said that FATF would not downgrade Pakistan's ranking.

The action came after a high-level United Nations sanctions team visited last month to review progress against groups and individuals banned by the world body. Now the United Nations team will report back to its headquarters and satisfactory report is must for avoiding any movement towards slapping any kind of sanctions in future.

"If Pakistan was downgraded and put into grey list, it will have negative repercussion on the country's credit ratings".

Pakistani officials involved in the seizures of assets said failure to act against the charities could lead to Pakistan's inclusion on the FATF watchlist. "We are in touch with over 30 countries in this regard (to block the move)", he said. The task force, an worldwide body sets standards for Anti-Money Laundering/Combating Financing for Terrorism (AML/CFT), placed Pakistan on its grey list in February 2012 on a plea that the country was not fully compliant with the standards for effectively combating the twin menaces.

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