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We are welfare NGO, not banned group, claims JuD

September 23, 2011 19:45 IST
Pakistan-based Jamaat-ud-Dawah, declared by the United Nations Security Council as a front for Lashkar-e-Tayiba, on Friday claimed it is not a banned group and its offices across this country are operating normally as authorities have found "no evidence" linking it to terror or anti-state activities.

"The JuD took legal steps against the restrictions that were imposed on it and a full bench of the Lahore high court and a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court granted us relief through their judgements. We are not a banned organisation," said Abdul Rahman Makki, the deputy chief of the JuD.

Makki claimed the JuD, accused by India of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, was an "NGO and a civil society organisation" engaged in relief work like providing aid to victims of the floods that have devastated Sindh province.

"There are no restrictions on us." "Authorities found no evidence of JuD being involved in terrorism or anti-state activities," he told reporters during an interaction at the press club in Islamabad.

He contended that only some government leaders and officials, who "were close to the UN or under international pressure," were imposing restrictions on the JuD.

"The Muslims of Pakistan are backing the JuD and they are not influenced by such issues."

The UN Security Council had declared the JuD a front for the banned Lashkar-e-Tayiba in the wake of the Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people.

Pakistani authorities briefly imposed restrictions on the JuD's activities following pressure from the UN and the US and its top leaders like the outfit's chief Hafiz Muhammed Saeed and Makki were detained for a few months.

However, the Pakistani authorities did not issue any formal notification banning the JuD. Makki outlined the steps taken by his organisation to provide relief in flood-hit areas of Sindh, where over 300 people have been killed and more than six million affected by the deluge.

He claimed that a large number of Hindus had also been provided aid and shelter in JuD-run camps. However, reports from the flood-hit areas have said Hindus and Dalits were discriminated against in the provision of relief, especially at camps run by hardline groups like the JuD.

Asked if authorities were thwarting the JuD's relief work in Sindh, Makki shot back: "They have to first reach there (flooded areas) to create hurdles."

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