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Jamaat chief vows to carry on activities despite UNSC ban

Source: PTI
Last updated on: December 11, 2008 16:04 IST
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Branded a terrorist outfit by the United Nations Security Council, the Jamaat ud Dawah on Thursday sought to put up a defiant stance, claiming that it was not concerned by the international clampdown and would carry on with its activities.

Reacting to the ban imposed unanimously by the UN Security Council, Maulana Abdul Aziz Alvi, chief of the Jamaat in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, said, "We don't take permission from the UN or the Security Council for carrying out our activities".

He claimed his group was not involved in the Mumbai carnage but said his organisation would admit its mistakes provided it was proved that it was in any way linked to the attacks, which left a trail of death and destruction.

"We are not concerned by restrictions imposed by the UN. We don't take permission from the UN or the Security Council for carrying out our activities," Alvi said hours after Security Council proscribed the Jamaat, a front for the Lashkar e Tayiba.

Four top leaders of LeT, including its founder Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, have also been labelled as terrorists who will be subject to sanctions.

Pakistan daily, The News quoted Saeed as saying that the arbitration of the International Court of Justice could be sought.

Alvi repeatedly said the Jamaat was "not concerned" about the UN restrictions, which he claimed were imposed without evidence.

"We are saddened by the Mumbai attacks but we are not involved in such acts which lead to the murder of innocent people," he told Geo News channel.

"Our country is a member of the UN and if there are restrictions and if they act according to the law, then it's alright. If it is proved that we have done anything, we will admit it," he added.

Referring to the links between the Jamaat and the LeT, Alvi said, "There was a time when everyone had links with the LeT." These links helped the LeT to establish itself in Jammu and Kashmir, he said.

Alvi also claimed the Jamaat was in existence before a ban was imposed on the LeT by the Pakistan government in 2001.

At present, the Jamaat did not have any links with the LeT, he said, claiming the Lashkar had no camps in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.

Referring to Sunday's operation by security forces near Muzaffarabad that resulted in the capture of LeT operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind of the Mumbai attacks, Alvi claimed the troops had raided a madrassa.

Alvi also said he did not know who was arrested during the operation.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said top LeT terrorist Lakhvi and Zarar Shah, a communications expert, were among those arrested during the crackdown.

Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar has said Jaish e Mohammed founder Maulana Masood Azhar too has been detained.

Pakistan has pledged to act if the UN designates the Jamaat-ud-Dawah a terrorist organisation.

The Jamaat was formed by Hafiz Mohammed Saeed after the Let was banned by the Pakistan government following the attack on India's Parliament.

Speaking to Geo News before the UN Security Council imposed restrictions on the Jamaat, Hafiz Mohammed Saeed said the allegations levelled by India against his group at the UN were "baseless and unfounded".

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