JuD Resumes Ops But Under K-Banner

SRINAGAR: Jama’at-ud-Dawa (JuD), a philanthropist outfit working in Pakistan, has resumed its operations after the detention of its leaders and a crackdown on activities, however, under new banner.

JuD was put under-observation by the federal government of Pakistan last week with its chief, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, detained in his house in Lahore.

But on last Friday, The Express Tribune reported, once again appeared under a new name: ‘Tehreek Azadi Jammu and Kashmir’ (TAJK) or ‘Movement for Freedom of Kashmir’.

However, The Dawn reported that police in Hyderabad stopped JuD from holding a ‘multiparty conference’ (MPC) on Kashmir at the press club on Friday reportedly after receiving ‘orders’ from high-ups in the wake of house arrest of its chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed.

The JuD runs social camps including ambulance services across Pakistan and after Saeed was detained, members of Hindu community from Thar had staged protests against the government move expressing resentment over the arrest. They said that Saeed’s JuD helped them rebuild their lives when federal government had left them to fend for themselves.

The centres run by JuD were closed down on the night of January 30 after the detention of Saeed and four of his aides on accusations of “disturbing” peace and security.

Law enforcers had removed the banners and placards of JuD and its charitable wing ofFalah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), which was also put on observation under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

Although still on the observation list of the authorities, the “religious” organisation has resumed its routine activities. Its ‘donation’ camps and ambulance centres across Lahore and other districts have restarted under banners calling for the independence of “Kashmir”.

After remaining closed for three days, all these centres reopened on Friday but without the banners bearing the names of JuD or the FIF. These centres located at Shahdara Chowk, Moon Market and Iqbal Town are now operating under the name of TAJK. Donation boxes and ambulances are stationed just like before, the news report added.

The JuD and FIF had also planned a conference on ‘Kashmir Day’ (February 5) at Nasir Bagh after Zuhr prayers and banners related to Kashmir, under the name of TAJK, have cropped up along all major roads, the report informed.

FIF volunteers also participated in a rescue operation at Nankana Sahib, where an overloaded boat overturned reportedly with over 100 passengers on Friday.

In Hyderabad, The Dawn news report added that the JuD leaders decided to cancel the conference and disperse peacefully. Later, they informed media persons through an SMS that the MPC had to be cancelled because of some ‘unavoidable circumstances’. A heavy contingent of police had sealed the road with barbed wire outside the press club.

JuD Sindh Amir Faisal Nadeem said that the MPC was not organised by JuD only, it was held by TAJK, a platform founded by JuD and other parties to discuss “Kashmir’s freedom movement”.

Meanwhile, an official of the Punjab police’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) told The Express Tribune that authorities had closed the collection centres and ambulance services of JuD and FIF in all cities of the Punjab.

He added that law enforcement personnel removed the names of both organisations from these stalls by painting them over and confiscating the banners.

Only one centre, near the JuD headquarters at Markaz Al-Qadsia, is still functioning with workers seen collecting donations under banners seeking help for Kashmiris and Syrians.

TAJK Deputy General Khalid Waleed, a close relative of Hafiz Saeed, told The Express Tribune that CTD was continuing the crackdown against FIF and JuD activists in Faisalabad, Gojra, Sheikhupura, Gujranwala, Chiniot, Jhang and Sargodha.

He claimed the police were asking activists to come over to the police station and putting them behind bars. He added there was no ban on JuD or FIF and they were merely put on the observation list. “The arrests are illegal and unconstitutional,” he complained.

Khalid admitted JuD representatives were part of the TAJK, but the body was not a substitute for the JuD or FIF. When asked about the TAJK leadership, he said they were Kashmiris and Maulana Abdul Aziz Alvi was the head.

Commenting on the detention of the JuD leadership, the TAJK deputy general said, “it would trigger the Kashmir liberation movement.”

He added they were planning to hold rallies in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad on February 5. Fearing arrests, JuD activists have went into hiding and were assessing the situation.

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