ISLAMABAD: The government’s seriousness in implementing the much-talked about National Action Plan could be gauged from the fact that a charity wing of a Jihadi outfit has been allowed to set up a camp in Islamabad to collect donations in the name of “Kashmir Fund”.
The Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), a welfare wing of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), has set up a camp in Blue Area to collect cash donations in the name of “Kashmir Fund”. The JuD is the political wing of the banned Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, an entity listed under the UN’s list of terrorist organisations.
The FIF has not only been raising funds but also playing pro-Jihad songs besides showcasing videos related to the ongoing freedom movement in Indian Kashmir. In Pakistan, the JuD is on a watch list or under observation.
In 2015, the Pakistan Electronic Media and Regulatory Authority directed TV channels to stop giving coverage to activities of the FIF and JuD in line with the international practice to consider these organisations as proscribed.
Banners erected near the camp carry an appeal from JuD chief Hafiz Saeed “requesting Pakistanis to come forward and generously donate for the people of the occupied Kashmir”. It says that the funds would be utilised for relief activities in Indian Kashmir. While boxes placed in the camp mention “Kashmir Fund”.
Two to three volunteers of FIF remain present at the camp and the area echoes with pro-freedom songs via loudspeakers.
The camp has been set up in front of Savour Foods in Blue Area.
India has accused Hafiz Saeed of being a mastermind behind 2008 Mumbai attacks.
While talking to The Express Tribune, the charity’s Media Coordinator Ahmad Nadeem said that currently there was no restriction on the FIF’s activities in Pakistan. “There was a confusion over the issue last year and the FIF was forcibly stopped from collecting donations by different city administrations. But, later the Lahore High Court ruled in favour of the FIF and the charity organisation is free to carry out its relief activities and funds generation,” Nadeem said.
He said that the camp in Islamabad has been established on a temporary basis after obtaining necessary permission from the local administration and keeping in view the ongoing wave of atrocities on the people of Kashmir by Indian forces.
“It has been almost two months since a curfew was imposed in the Kashmir Valley. There is a dire shortage of food. While, a medical relief is also needed in occupied Kashmir,” he said adding such camps have also been established in other cities. He said that Kashmir was the jugular vein of Pakistan and Pakistanis would continue to support their brethren at this testing time.
In July, the Punjab Home Department had also directed the Punjab police to be vigilant on the fundraising activists of JuD through the platform of the FIF.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 29th, 2016.