Pakistan plans to ban 10 terror outfits, including 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and the dreaded Afghan-based Haqqani Network, a move seen by experts as a “paradigm shift” in the country’s security policy in the wake of Peshawar school massacre.
The move came a day after the US declared the fugitive chief of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Mullah Fazlullah as a ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorist’ following Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Pakistan this week.
A formal announcement to this effect would be made in “coming days”, The Express Tribune said, citing official sources.
The decision will certainly be welcomed by Washington and Kabul as well as New Delhi, analysts believe.
They believe a ban on JuD is a significant development as India, as well as the US, have long considered JuD as a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba terror outfit involved in the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai that left 166 people dead.
The UN Security Council designated the JuD a front for the LeT after the Mumbai attacks. Since then, the UN and US have sanctioned several JuD leaders. The Haqqani network, founded by Jalaluddin Haqqani, has been blamed for the Indian embassy bombing in Kabul in 2008 that left 58 people dead, a 2011 attack on the US embassy in Kabul, and several big truck bombing attempts in Afghanistan.
US and Afghan officials have repeatedly said that Pakistan’s spy agency ISI covertly backed the Haqqanis to extend its influence in Afghanistan, a charge Islamabad deny.
The group was designated as a terrorist organisation by the United States in September 2012.
Pakistan’s government and opposition parties have approved a wide-ranging National Action Plan against terrorism after the Peshawar school attack that left 150 people dead, mostly students, in December.
Pakistan banned 12 new organisations days before Kerry visited Pakistan this week, officials at the interior ministry revealed.
With this latest addition, the number of proscribed outfits in Pakistan will reach 72.