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Pak describes JuD as wing of LeT; bans outfit’s media coverage


Islamabad : Pakistan has acknowledged for the first time that the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed- led Jamaat-ud-Dawah is a wing of Lashkar-e-Taiba and asked broadcasters to refrain from covering such terror groups.

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) issued a notification banning all TV channels and FM radio from coverage of 72 banned groups including LeT, JuD and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) under UN restriction.

“The Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation are the other wings of Lashkar-e-Taiba,” the notification said.

This is for the first time Pakistan has admitted that JuD and FIF are “other wings of LeT”.

The move comes days after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s assurance to US President Barack Obama last month to take “effective action” against UN-designated terrorist individuals and entities, including LeT and its affiliates, as per its international commitments and obligations under UN Security Council resolutions.

According to the notification, 60 proscribed organisations and 12 others have been placed under a watch list. It said the action has been taken against these organisations as part of the National Action Plan.

“The Pakistani satellite TV channels and FM radios should strictly follow the direction and in case of breach of code of conduct fine may be imposed or license be revoked,” it warned.

The authority also has banned the electronic media from running any advertisement of these three organisations for collection of funds “in the name of social work”.

Meanwhile, some local channels quoting PEMRA officials said the interior ministry had not directed them to ban these three outfits.

The order follows the introduction earlier this year of the “National Action Plan” aimed at reining in militancy in the wake of the Peshawar Army Public School massacre in which over 150 people, mostly school children, were killed.

The UN declared JuD a terror organisation and also individually designated Saeed as a terrorist in December 2008. The US has already put USD 10 million bounty on his head.

Saeed, who orchestrated the November, 2008, Mumbai terror attack in which 166 people were killed, roams around freely in Pakistan despite being a designated terrorist and has made many anti-India remarks and speeches.

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