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Canadian charity may have funded Hizbul,says report

Federal auditors say money raised by the ISNA may have been sent to armed militants overseas.

Written by Press Trust Of India | Toronto |
July 27, 2013 2:58:41 am

The Kashmiri militant outfit,Hizbul Mujahideen, may be receiving money through a Pakistan-based agency from an Islamic charity in Canada engaged in helping the poor and needy in this country.

The federal charity watchdog of Canada is now threatening to revoke the charity status of Mississauga’s ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) Development Foundation,the Toronto Star has reported.

A Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) audit revealed the foundation shipped more than 280,000 USD to a Pakistan-based agency,which the government fears was used to support the Hizbul Mujahideen — a militant group that seeks the secession of Kashmir from India — the paper said.

The foundation “facilitated the transfer of resources that may have been used to support the efforts of a political organisation…and its armed wing,” the CRA said in a letter to the charity,outlining its findings.

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Federal auditors say money raised by the ISNA Development Foundation may have been sent to armed militants overseas.

“Canada’s commitment to combating terrorism extends to preventing organisations with ties to terrorism from benefiting from the tax advantages of charitable registration,” the CRA letter said.

However,the charity’s acting president dismissed the suggestion that the money it gave to the Pakistan-based Relief Organisation for Kashmiri Muslims may have landed in the wrong hands because of “poor oversight”,the paper said.

Denying that the money made its way to any such militant groups,acting president G Nabi Chaudhary said the money sent by the charity to those organisations was spent on the needy and to help the misplaced. “We had people on the ground who were working with the relief organisations.”

But the charity failed to show auditors any documents proving it had control over how the money was spent,as per the tax agency’s requirements,the Toronto Star reported,adding the charity’s board members told auditors the funds were sent abroad with “no strings”,contradicting Chaudhary’s assurances.

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