Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain has said that there was no reason to ban the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) since it is not a terrorist organisation but rather a charitable one, the Hindustan Times reported on Monday.
The announcement comes just four days after Pakistan decided to ban JuD, the Haqqani Network, and 10 more organisations. India and the US have have long considered the charity run by Hafiz Saeed as a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant outfit, which has been accused by New Delhi for masterminding the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai
“The government of Pakistan has no evidence against Hafiz Saeed or the JuD,” Hussain said, adding that Saeed has the right to address rallies.
“India or the US should give us evidence and we will consider it. The JuD does not have a military wing and they are only involved in preaching Islam and working in the education field.”
“Lashkar is banned in Pakistan and we have not found any linkages between JuD and LeT,” the minister said.
Hussain said Saeed, who has a US bounty worth $10 million on him, was “not involved in any terrorist activity.”
He further said he supported JuD’s stance on freeing Kashmir from India.
“Even I refer to Kashmir as our [inalienable part]. Tomorrow you will ask for a ban against me and against all Pakistanis who support the freedom struggle in Kashmir,” he said.
“The JuD only pinches India, not Afghanistan or America. You can’t group it along with ISIS and al Qaeda,” he said.
Further, speaking about the tension between India and Pakistan, Hussain said Pakistan had given its all to improve relations, but to no avail.
“We have tried our best to improve relations with India but have had a bitter experience. We have a policy for peaceful relations but the talks must be fruitful and constructive. The firing along the border does not create conducive environment for talks.”