The UNSC ’s sanction monitoring team arrived in Pakistan last month, at a time when the US has been accusing Pakistan of harbouring terrorists. Similarly, India has been trying to get Pakistan declared as a terrorist state. India has blamed Pakistan for several attacks including 2008 Mumbai attacks, Uri attack, Pathankot attack and the Kashmir insurgency. Following the Uri attack, India had refrained to participate in the 19th SAARC summit. Apart from that India alleged Pakistan as an ‘exporter of terrorism’ during the 72nd session of United Nations General Assembly. This is one of the major reasons following which the UNSC sanction team arrived in Pakistan to inspect the allegation made by Indians against Hafiz Saeed.
During their two-day visit, the team aimed to inspect the prospects of imposing sanctions on Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and its linked organizations, under the UNSC Resolution 1267. The resolution states that every member state is required to impose an assets freeze, travel ban, and bared individuals/groups from carrying out any terror activity. The team also intended to inquire whether Pakistan was willing to comply with the sanction team or not?
India believes that the Chief of JuD Hafiz Saeed was the mastermind of Mumbai attacks. Furthermore, after the attacks Hafiz Saeed’s name was placed in the UNSC’s sanction list. Since then, Pakistan has taken many punitive measures against Hafiz Saeed in order to comply with the UN Resolution 1267. He was put under house arrest as per the Maintenance of Public Order Law which is referred to as the State’s empowerment of arresting any individual who is likely to disrupt the public order. He was detained twice, in 2002 right after the 9/11 attacks and in 2006 during President Musharraf’s regime. Along with his detention, Musharraf also proscribed the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) from operating. Apart from Saeed’s detentions from 2002 to 2017 many cases were filed against the JuD leader. Nevertheless, Pakistan took all the measures despite the fact that India had failed to provide concrete evidences against Hafiz Saeed for his involvement in the Mumbai attacks.
The dossier of evidences handed over to Pakistan were not credible enough to prove JuD’s involvement in the raid. In addition, Pakistan also offered its help to find the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks but India seemed reluctant to provide any access to the lone-survived attacker Ajmal Kasab. Even the Global Police Agency was not provided with tangible evidences by India.
According to Interpol Chief Ronald Noble’s statement on 23rd December, 2008, ‘to date, India’s government has not authorised India’s police agencies to enter any data relating to the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai into Interpol’s databases. The information Interpol has about what happened in Mumbai is the same information that you have – it’s information that was read in journals, that was read on the internet or that was seen on TV’.
Pakistan has recently revealed the list of banned organizations. The list includes LeT and JuD among 72 others. This shows the level of seriousness of Pakistan in taking measures against such organizations which are allegedly involved in terror activities.
The statement also reveals that India accuses Pakistan for its involvement in the Mumbai attacks. It could be India’s back door diplomacy to isolate Pakistan globally on its quest to declare Pakistan as a terrorist state. Now the question arises, will Pakistan show its compliance ahead of the current visit of the UNSC sanction team? The answer is yes. Pakistan’s fight against terrorism is evident through history; it had not only banned LeT in 2002 but also detained JuD’s Chief Hafiz Saeed many times. Hafiz Saeed’s JuD is also included in the National Counter Terrorism Authority’s (NACTA) watch list, which was updated on 25th June, 2017. Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), an organization linked to JuD is restricted from collecting charity by the Government of Pakistan. In addition, Pakistan has recently revealed the list of banned organizations. The list includes LeT and JuD among 72 others. This shows the level of seriousness of Pakistan in taking measures against such organizations which are allegedly involved in terror activities.
Hence, the Government of Pakistan will adhere to the UNSC and ensure its compliance of the UNSC Resolution 1267, as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued statutory regulatory orders (SROs) to provide legal cover for implementing sanction measures against any proscribed individuals/entities. The SROs are referred to impose arms embargo, freeze assets and travel ban upon any proscribed individual/entity as per the Security Council Resolution. In addition, the State Bank of Pakistan is not only advised to circulate the subject SROs/notifications to its regulated entities for taking necessary action but also guides its regulatory entities to report details of such frozen assets in order to check compliance with the relevant SROs/notification to the State Bank of Pakistan within the required time. Apart from this all banks are required not to provide any banking service to any inadmissible individual or entity by the Government of Pakistan.
In short, Pakistan has played a significant role in banning JuD and its associated relief organizations. It is a country which has been severely affected by terrorism and continues to fight its war on terrorism. The UNSC team hence should certainly evaluate the sanctions based on objectivity.