March 2018
3:21 AM IST
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Hafiz Saeed pleads against Pak presidential order that led to crackdown
Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed has moved court against a presidential ordinance that enabled the Pakistani government to take action against individuals and entities proscribed by the United Nations Security Council.

Challenging the ordinance in the Islamabad High Court, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief, through his counsel Raja Rizwan Abbasi, said it is “illegitimate and injurious to the country and a calculated effort to undermine its sovereignty.”

He pleaded that authority of declaring entities as proscribed has been given to the United Nations. “The ordinance is violative of law negating the sovereignty of Pakistan hence liable to be declared unconstitutional,” his lawyer contended.

By virtue of the ordinance, Abbasi said, powers have been given to the United Nations which is dominated by “US and different other enemy countries which are termed as G-8.”

He said promulgation of the ordinance is not only prejudicial to the sovereignty but also violative of specific articles of Pakistan’s Constitution.

“How can the authority to amend the ATA (Anti Terrorism Act of 1997) be given to the UNSC as this is the job of parliament or federal government?,” he added.

Responding to the petition, justice Aamer Farooq issued notices to the principal secretary to the president and the secretaries of law, cabinet division and establishment division.

The court directed the respondents to submit replies and para-wise comments in the case.

The ordinance amended Sections 11-B of ATA, which sets out parameters for proscription of groups, and 11-EE, which describes the grounds for listing of individuals.

Both the sections now include sub-section AA, according to which organisations and individuals “listed under the UN (Security Council) Act, 1948 (XIV of 1948)” will be included for proscription either as organisations or individuals, on an ex-parte basis.

President Mamnoon Hussain in February signed the ordinance amending ATA with the aim of tightening the noose around individuals and organisations banned by the UNSC.

The move was apparently aimed at declaring JuD and its charity arm, the Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation, as proscribed groups ahead of the Financial Action Task Force meeting in Paris. That meeting of the anti-terror financing organization eventually decided to put Pakistan in a grey list from June this year.

It was after promulgation of the ordinance that all properties of the FIF were confiscated in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. Some 148 properties and assets of the groups were also seized in Punjab province.

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