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December 23, 2001
0005 IST

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Lashkar denies any action by Pakistan government

K J M Varma in Islamabad

Amid reports of Pakistan freezing the assets of the militant Islamic outfit Lashkar-e-Tayiba as a follow up move to a similar action by the United States, the organisation on Saturday night denied that the Musharraf government has taken any such step.

Reacting to the reports of Pakistan government initiating action against LeT, its spokesman, Yahya Mujahid, said, "So far no action has been taken by the Pakistan government."

"No ban has been imposed so far. No order was received, nor we were approached," he said.

There has also been no official announcement so far about Pakistan Central Bank issuing any advisory to local banks to freeze the accounts of LeT and another NGO Umma Tamir Nau, whose assets were frozen by US President George Bush two days ago.

UTN, floated by some of Pakistan's retired nuclear scientists, is alleged to have close links with Saudi renegade Osama bin Laden.

Confusion prevailed over the status of Pakistan's action against the two groups, as most of the top officials, including President Pervez Musharraf and Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar were away abroad.

Musharraf is currently in China on an official visit while Sattar is still in Kabul after attending the swearing-in ceremony of the new Afghan interim government.

Interior Minister Moinuddin Haider was also unavailable as unidentified gunmen in Karachi had killed his brother on Friday night.

LeT, along with another Pakistan-based Islamic outfit, Jaish-e-Mohammed has been blamed by New Delhi for the December 13 terrorist attack on Indian Parliament.

Both the outfits have denied their involvement in it.

Complete Coverage: The Attack on Parliament

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