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Pakistan Bans Charities Linked To Mumbai Terrorist Suspect

Pakistani Islamist leader Hafiz Saeed

Pakistan has banned two charities linked to Islamist leader Hafiz Saeed, a spokesperson for the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz-PMLN) told RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal on February 14.

The bans on Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) come amid calls from the United States and India to take action against Saeed, who they say was behind an attack on Mumbai in 2008 that killed 166 people.

Pakistan's action comes days before a meeting of the Financial Action Task Force, a global money-laundering watchdog, that will consider a U.S.-sponsored motion to place Pakistan on a list of countries failing to prevent terrorism financing.

Saeed has been designated as a "terrorist" by the United Nations. He is the founder of the Lashkar-e Taiba (Army of the Pure, or LeT), but he denies any links to militant groups.

Siddiqul Farooq, the ruling party spokesman, told Radio Mashaal in a telephone interview that the government has targeted the bank accounts of the charities banned under the measure.

“The [government] has taken control of the various institutes -- like educational ones -- established by these groups," he said. "The government froze their accounts. The government has banned their welfare work.”

“Our government has succeeded in proving that we are determined to ban those people [and groups] who are sanctioned by the UN. That is why we have taken control of their groups and I thank God that, unlike before, the people do not support them,” he said.

With reporting by Reuters