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Pak Seals Lahore HQ of JuD Two Days After Ban, Hafiz Saeed Barred From Delivering Friday Sermon

This is perhaps for the first time in years that Saeed despite being present in Lahore will not be able to deliver the sermon at Jamia Masjid Qadsia.

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Updated:March 8, 2019, 7:48 AM IST
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Pak Seals Lahore HQ of JuD Two Days After Ban, Hafiz Saeed Barred From Delivering Friday Sermon
File photo of Hafiz Saeed.
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Lahore: Two days after banning the Jamat-ud-Dawa and its charity wing Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation, Pakistani authorities on Thursday sealed the Lahore headquarters of the two Hafiz Saeed-led outfits as part of an ongoing crackdown against terror groups in the country.

"Under the National Action Plan (NAP), the government has taken complete control of the banned JuD and FIF headquarters in Lahore and Muridkey," said a statement issued by the Punjab Home department Thursday.

It said the government has been taking over the control of the mosques, seminaries and other institutions of the banned organisations in the province. "We have intensified action against the banned organisations," it said.

A senior government official said that the authorities have sealed the Jamia Masjid Qadsia, the Lahore headquarters of the JuD and FIF. The official said the government has also taken over the complete control of the JuD headquarters in Muridke, some 40-km from Lahore.

Additionally, the Mumbai terror attack mastermind has also been barred by the government from delivering the weekly Friday sermon at JuD’s Lahore headquarters.

This is perhaps for the first time in years that Saeed despite being present in Lahore will not be able to deliver the sermon at Jamia Masjid Qadsia.

Saeed was never stopped from delivering Friday sermons even during the years when Masjid Qadsia's control was under the Punjab government.

"As the Punjab police have sealed the Jamia Masjid Qadsia, Saeed will not be allowed to enter the premises to give his weekly sermon on Friday," a senior official of the Punjab government.

"Saeed requested the Punjab government to allow him give sermon on Friday at Qadsia Masjid but it was turned down. This is significant with regard to the 'clout' of Saeed as for the first time he is not being allowed by the government to give sermon on Friday," he added.

The official further said that Saeed and his supporters did not protest when the administration and police reached there to take over the control of the building.

"Saeed along with his supporters left for his Jauhar Town residence," he said. The whereabouts of Saeed were immediately not known.

The action against JuD and FIF comes amid intense global pressure to act against terror groups operating in Pakistan following the Pulwama attack that killed 40 CRPF soldiers. Pakistani authorities have detained over 120 suspected militants as part of the ongoing crackdown.

Saeed was listed under UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008. He was released from house arrest in Pakistan in November 2017.

According to officials, JuD's network includes 300 seminaries and schools, hospitals, a publishing house and ambulance service. The two groups have about 50,000 volunteers and hundreds of other paid workers.

The JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the LeT which is responsible for carrying out the Mumbai attack that killed 166 people. It had been declared as a foreign terrorist organisation by the US in June 2014.

The US Department of the Treasury has designated its chief Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, and the US, since 2012, has offered a USD 10 million reward for information that brings Saeed to justice.
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