India calls for U.N. to ban Pakistan based Jamaat-ud-Dawa 'charity' front for Laskhar-e-Taiba
December 10, 2008
Thursday December 11 2008
India demanded that the United Nations security council ban a Pakistan-based charity yesterday because it was a "terrorist outfit" and a front for a radical armed group behind the attacks on Mumbai last month - even as Pakistan confirmed it had arrested another prominent Islamist wanted by New Delhi.
Indian officials say that Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which runs out of a complex outside Lahore, is a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba, the militant group that India blames for sending bombers and gunmen on the killing spree which left more than 170 dead.
The charity has denied any links to Lashkar, two members of which have been arrested by Pakistani security agents in the past few days.
However the Indian government's foreign ministry expects that Jamaat, which helped rebuild shattered communities in Pakistani Kashmir after the 2005 earthquake, will be "proscribed" early next week with backing from the US.
Pervez Musharraf, then Pakistan's military dictator, banned Lashkar-e-Taiba in January 2002 amid pressure that followed the September 11 attacks and the attempt by gunmen to storm the Indian parliament in December 2001. However, Lashkar has continued to operate in plain sight in Pakistan.
Last night Indian television reported that the Indian Air Force went on "high alert" after intelligence reports of possible aerial attacks by "terrorist groups".
Yesterday Yousuf Raza Gilani, Pakistan's prime minister, confirmed Lashkar's Zarar Shah was in Pakistani custody and would be investigated. Indian investigators say Shah arranged for internet phone services, satellite phones and mobile connections in India for the gunmen and also sent an email claiming responsibility for the attacks by an unknown group called Deccan Mujahideen.
Shah is the second leading light in Lashkar to be arrested. Previously it was revealed the organisation's "operations chief" Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi had been taken into custody.
Abdullah Hussain Haroon, Pakistan's ambassador to the UN, said that Pakistan will "definitely take strong action".