Hafiz Saeed, alleged mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, has finally been declared a terrorist by Pakistan.
Bowing to international pressure, Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain has promulgated an ordinance amending the country's Anti-Terrorism Act to list groups sanctioned by the UN?Security Council, including Saeed's Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) and the Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), as terror organisations.
The ordinance brings all individuals and organisations banned by the United Nations Security Council, including the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Harkat-ul Mujahideen, in the ambit of the amended Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), 1997.
The ordinance promulgated late last week was made public on Monday.
Groups sanctioned by the UN?Security Council are not automatically listed as terror organisations under the Anti-Terrorism Act of Pakistan. The ordinance amends Sections 11B and 11EE to include groups that have been sanctioned by the UN?Security Council.
Acting promptly, Pakistan police on Monday removed barricades placed by the JuD outside the group's headquarters. The blockade had been set up a decade ago, ostensibly for security.
"We have removed blockades from 26 places, including JuD headquarters, in accordance with the Supreme Court's orders," said DIG (Lahore) Dr Haider Ashraf.
There are a total of 27 banned outfits in the UN list and the amendment in Section 11-B and 11-EE of the ATA spells trouble for the likes of Saeed.
The move came a week ahead of a crucial meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on terror financing in Paris, which will assess Pakistan's efforts to choke funding to the Lashkar-e-Taiba, JuD, and LeT founder Hafiz Saeed.
The JuD and FiF had not been banned by Pakistan, even though the US and the UN had sanctioned them after the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Both groups were on a ''watch list'' maintained by Pakistan's National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA).
JuD was put on the watch list soon after the Mumbai attacks and FiF was included in the list in 2012.
The ordinance will also have an impact on the al-Qaeda linked al-Akhtar Trust and al-Rasheed Trust which had already been sanctioned by the UN.