JuD head office in Peshawar sealed in ongoing crackdown

JuD head office in Peshawar sealed in ongoing crackdown

SAM Staff,

The local administration in Peshawar sealed the Jamaat ud Dawa (JuD) head office located at Chowk Fowara in Saddar on Saturday.

Residents of the area told The Express Tribune authorities sealed the office about a week ago.

“All of the staff and other office bearers left for Lahore, leaving just one guard behind,” an area resident said, adding that the organisation is planning to organise a protest demonstration at Chowk Fowara ‘soon’.

Earlier in January, the federal government released a list of proscribed organisations, blacklisting 72 groups including JuD and its charity arm Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF).

In its press release, the Ministry of Interior declared aiding and abetting any of those blacklisted organisations, financially or otherwise, a crime.

Soon after, in February, the global terror-finance watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) placed Pakistan on the ‘grey list’, highlighting deficiencies in the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering of Terrorist Financing (AML/CFT) framework of Pakistan.

Addressing the task force’s concerns, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated Pakistan “has taken numerous steps to address these issues”, including establishing the Financial Monitoring Unit and implementing sanctions under the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1267 that has blacklisted JuD as a terror organisation.

Following the FATF decision, the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) was amended through a presidential order so that action could be taken against the blacklisted organisations.

Under the amendment, all properties of JuD and FIF in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) were confiscated. A hundred and forty eight its assets in Punjab were also taken away in the ongoing crackdown.

In a meeting earlier in March, the Senate Committee on Interior was informed that Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) has confiscated three immovable assets of the two organisations, including hospitals and dispensaries. The Pakistan Red Crescent has also been directed to take over seven ambulances associated with JuD.

The JuD head office in Peshawar’s Saddar area was built in the 1990s. Soon after, a mosque was also built in front of the office. Reportedly, it is the only office of the religious organisation in the city.