Pakistan today said that those providing funds to banned groups, including the so-called charities run by Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, will face up to 10 years in prison along with a hefty fine. The warning was part of a countrywide advertisement in Urdu, which has been published in all major local newspapers of the country. The advertisement lists 72 groups, including Jamat-ud-Dawa, Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation and Lashkar-e-Taiba of Saeed and Jaish-e-Mohammad of Masood Azhar. It said that according to Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997 of Pakistan and under UN Security Council act of 1948 it was a crime to provide funding to those groups which have been banned or are on the watchlist. Those giving funds to such individuals or groups may face “five to 10 years in jail or up to Rs 10 million fine or both”, it said. Their movable or immovable property can also be confiscated. Pakistan has banned Saeed-led JuD and FIF from collecting donations on Monday, after President Donald Trump accused Islamabad of giving nothing to the US but “lies and deceit” and providing “safe haven” to terrorists. Trump, in a scathing tweet, at the start of the new year said that Pakistan fooled American authorities and got USD 33 billion in the name of fighting terrorism.
The government has banned companies and individuals from making donations to the JuD, the FIF and other organisations on the UNSC sanctions list. The advertisement reminds the people that they should make sure that their money given as charity does not end up in wrong hands. The move comes after the US increased pressure on Pakistan to move decisively against all militants groups allegedly operating from its soil.