Pakistan announces crackdown on UN terror list groups

Activists of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, considered by the United Nations to be a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba which is accused of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack. (AFP pic)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday announced the freezing of accounts and seizure of assets linked to organisations banned by the UN Security Council (UNSC), as pressure mounted on the country to crack down on militant groups amid tensions with India.

The move comes after weeks of heightened tensions in South Asia after a massive suicide bombing in Kashmir killed 40 Indian troops on Feb 14, with the attack claimed by Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed.

The incident prompted New Delhi to carry out air strikes inside Pakistan and an Indian pilot was shot down in a dogfight with Pakistani aircraft. Islamabad freed the Indian pilot in what Islamabad called a “peace gesture”.

Pakistan’s foreign office said in a statement that the government had issued the “United Nations Security Council (Freezing and Seizure) Order, 2019”.

A senior foreign office official, requesting anonymity, said: “this order means the government will take control of assets…and control all the accounts of organisations banned by the UNSC”.

The United States pressed Pakistan last month to punish those behind the Kashmir attack, with State Department spokesman Robert Palladino urging “all countries to uphold their responsibilities pursuant to the United Nations Security Council resolutions to deny safe haven and support for terrorists”.

Islamabad has banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), groups believed to be fronts for the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

JuD and FIF are considered by the UN to be fronts for Lashkar-e-Taiba, a group accused by Washington and New Delhi of carrying out the Mumbai attack, which killed 166 people and brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war.