27, 2019, the Lahore High Court reportedly issued notices to the parties
concerned on a petition seeking to quash the First Information Reports (FIRs)
against Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) ‘chief’ and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz
Muhammad Saeed and 65 others. The Court sought replies in the matter from the
Federal Government, Punjab Government and the regional headquarters of the
Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) within two weeks.
Malik Zafar Iqbal, Secretary, Al-Infal Trust (a subsidiary of JuD), contended
in his petition that there were 23 FIRs registered at different Police Stations
against Hafiz Saeed and others, under false charges. He claimed that the
impugned FIRs described the petitioner as the head of LeT, which, Iqbal
asserted, was both factually and legally incorrect. The petition sought the
quashing of all the FIRs.
On July 3,
2019, CTD had registered 23 FIRs against JuD leaders, including Saeed, on
charges of terror financing, in different cities of the Punjab Province,
specifically, Lahore, Gujranwala and Multan. The FIRs contained allegations of
collection of funds for terrorism financing through assets/properties made and
held in the names of Trusts/Non-Profit Organisations (NPO) including Al-Anfaal
Trust, Dawatul Irshad Trust, and Muaz Bin Jabal Education Trust.
arrested on July 17, 2019, by the Counter-Terrorism Police in Gujranwala,
Punjab, under charges of terror financing. On August 7, 2019, the CTD of Punjab
Police declared Saeed "guilty of terror financing" in the
Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in the Gujranwala District of the Punjab Province.
Presently, Saeed is being kept at Lahore's Kot Lakhpat prison amid high security. May 15, 2019, reports indicate that the
Pakistani Government had also arrested JuD's ‘second-in-command’ or ‘Naib
Emir’, Abdul Rehman Makki, Saeed’s brother-in-law, on charges of making an
extremist public speech and terror financing.
given Pakistan’s past record, Saeed is likely to be freed soon.
to various media reports, Saeed has, so far, been ‘arrested’ nine times
(including the latest occasion) and released thereafter. He was last arrested
on January 30, 2017. However, predictably, the Judicial Review Board of
Pakistan’s Punjab province ordered his release on November 22, 2017, on the
grounds that "the government was not able to present any evidence to
justify [Saeed's] continued detention." There is little reason to believe
that the Government will abruptly present any decisive evidence to the courts
this time around.
JuD was banned on March 7, 2019, along with seven of its affiliated groups. The
organisations which were proscribed included Al-Anfaal Trust, Idara Khidmat-e-Khalaq,
Al-Dawat ul Irshad, Mosques & Welfare Trust, Al-Medina Foundation, Muaz Bin
Jabal Education Trust and Al-Hamad Trust. All these groups are Lahore-based.
Apart from these, the Lahore-based Al-Fazal Foundation/Trust and Al-Easar Foundation
were also banned for having links with the Falah-i-Insaliyat Foundation (FIF),
another JuD front. The FIF, like JuD, had also been banned in March 2019 by the
Government also ‘took control’ of JuD and FIF properties, including seminaries
and mosques across the country. According to the Punjab Police, as reported on
March 7, 2019, the Government seized control of 160 seminaries, 32 schools, two
colleges, four hospitals, 178 ambulances and 153 dispensaries associated with
JuD and FIF in Punjab. The Punjab Home Department later disclosed that the
seized properties, spread across 36 Districts of the Province, were ‘taken
over’ by the respective district administrations. The district administrators
took control of the management and operational conduct of the properties. There
was, however, no report of any change of staff in the establishments and they
continued to be run by the same people who were running them previously,
indicating that the takeover was a sham. Indeed, it was further clarified that
the administrators’ role would only be that of a ‘supervisor’.
Saeed was asked to keep a low profile at his Jauhar Town residence in Lahore
and was barred from entering the JuD headquarters in the Markaz-e-Taiba complex
in Muridke and Jamia Al Qadsia in Lahore.
The ban and
the subsequent action, however, had no major impact on JuD’s functioning.
Notably, soon after the ban, JuD joined hands with other groups to carry out
terrorist activities on its behalf. According to an August 12, 2019, report,
intelligence inputs suggested that JuD was using fringe groups for terror
financing and money laundering. JuD has also been misleading the United States
and global anti-terror watchdogs by using Jihadi 'tanzeems' (organisations) who
are not on the banned list to carry out its terror-related operations.
This is not
the first time that the JuD has collaborated with other groups. In the year
2011, more than 40 Islamist and right-wing parties and groups in Pakistan
joined together to establish the Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) or the Defence
of Pakistan Council, led by the JuD, including the Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat
(ASWJ), the new name of the sectarian terror outfit Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan
(SSP). The presence of JuD and the ASWJ in the DPC, where most of the other
parties and groups were those who openly participated in national politics, was
worrisome as it signified the radicalisation of Pakistani Civil Society.
Indeed, the DPC openly held several anti-Shia, anti-Barelvi, anti-Ahmadi, anti-Christian
public rallies in various cities of Pakistan, including, Karachi, Lahore,
Rawalpindi and Multan, to promote Islamist extremism. In one such incident, as
reported in February 2012, the DPC vehemently campaigned against a mosque in
Rawalpindi run by the Ahmadiyya community.
JuD acts as a socio-religious, cultural, spiritual and educational force, but
underpins its armed wing, LeT. JuD’s funding sources include charities, state
sponsorship, and businesses. Funds are transferred from various sources through
banks, use of Hawala (illegal money transactions) and by couriers. Funds are
used for dawa (preaching), Khidmat-E-Khalq (provision of social
services), and jihad, including recruitment, training, and procurement of
equipment and weapons. JuD has also used social media to collect funds.
According to officials, JuD's network includes 300 seminaries and schools,
hospitals, a publishing house and an ambulance service. JuD and FIF have about
50,000 volunteers and hundreds of paid workers.
externally directed terror formations in Pakistan, including the JuD led by
Saeed, have long been a mere eye wash, intended to safeguard Pakistan from
punitive action by international agencies and the West. In the immediate
context, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), during its meeting on June
16-21, 2019, retained Pakistan, as expected, on its ‘grey list’, along with
seven other countries. A FATF spokesman categorically stated, “The FATF has
decided to continue to keep Pakistan on its compliance document (i.e. Grey
List) for the ICRG [International Co-operation Review Group] monitoring…”
Pakistan has been on the FATF grey list for the second time since June 2018.
Pakistan was first put on the grey list in 2012 and remained there for three
recently, on August 23, 2019, FATF’s Asia-Pacific Group (APG) placed Pakistan
on its Blacklist for its failure in meeting required global standards and its
failure to combat terrorism and money laundering. Pakistan was put in the
Enhanced Blacklist because the country was non-compliant in 32 of the 40
compliance associated elements of the FATF and ranked low in 10 of the 11
Effectiveness Parameters. FATF’s 40 recommendations are related to money
laundering, terrorist financing, targeted financial sanctions related to
terrorism & terrorist financing, financial intelligence units, etc.
now under pressure to avoid its entry into the FATF Blacklist in October 2019,
when FATF will hold its Plenary meeting in Paris to decide on Pakistan’s status.
This final FATF meeting is crucial, as it would be decided either to exclude
Pakistan from the grey list, keep it there, or put the country into the
lands on the list, which indicates that the country concerned is
"non-cooperative" in the global fight against money laundering and
terrorist financing, the FATF members could, as an ultimate recourse, even
agree to restrict, target or prohibit financial transactions with Islamabad.
This would not only negatively impact foreign investor sentiment but also lead
to a downgrading of the country by multilateral lenders like the International
Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the European
Union (EU). This would have grave consequences for Pakistan's financial sector
and its economy, which are already reeling under severe stress, with foreign
investment dwindling, and funding avenues to keep the country afloat drying up.
Pakistan is expected to grow at less than 3 per cent in both 2019 and 2020,
according to the IMF. As of March 2019, the country’s outstanding debt was more
than USD 85 billion. It has taken loans from a very large number of countries,
the largest creditor being China.
recent visit to the US, in the month of July, Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran
Khan admitted that about 30,000 to 40,000 “armed people”, who fought in
Afghanistan or Kashmir, were in Pakistan. He also stated, “There were 40
different militant groups operating within Pakistan…” Reiterating Pakistan’s
‘commitment’ to fight terrorism, he said, “There was a watershed in Pakistani
politics. In 2014, the Pakistani Taliban slaughtered 150 school children at
Army Public School (in Peshawar). All the political parties signed the National
Action Plan and we all decided after that, that we will not allow any militant
groups to operate inside Pakistan.”
formulation “we will not allow any militant groups to operate inside Pakistan”,
is crucial. Islamabad has no doubt gone after domestic terror formations
operating within the country, but has studiously protected groups operating
from Pakistani soil and targeting other countries, particularly Afghanistan and
India. Terrorist formations such as the JuD-LeT complex and its affiliates,
Jaish-e-Muhammad, the various groupings operating under the United Jihad
Council, and of course, the Taliban and Haqqani Network, continue to flourish
in Pakistan, under state protection and patronage. Despite Pakistan mounting
internal difficulties and looming economic catastrophe that would follow a FATF
blacklisting, Islamabad remains a minimal satisfier, going through the formal
motions of some elements of compliance, even as its favoured terrorist
formations continue to operate with impunity.
Bhattacharya is a Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management
Headline: JuD: Another Eyewash
South Asia Terrorism Portal