August 2001 News

Pak bans raising of Jihad funds

21 August 2001
The Asian Age

Karachi: Pakistan’s military regime on Tuesday banned the raising of funds in the name of jihad (holy war) and the ordered Islamic militant organisations to remove signboards from their offices, officials said. “All jihadi organisations have been banned from displaying signboards on their offices or collecting financial contributions, Sindh home secretary Brigaider Mukhtar Sheikh said. The order will apply to all groups, including those fighting in Kashmir. “All jihadi groups have been told to follow the orders otherwise appropriate action under the law will be taken against them,” he said, but did not give details as to what the appropriate action would be. An official statement said: “It has been noticed with grave concern that jihadi organisations are displaying their signboards and collecting contributions by placing boxes on shops and road sides. It has been decided that no jihadi organisations will, from today onwards, display signboards on their offices and collect financial contributions by placing boxes at public places.” Sources said the latest restrictions would affect several militant outfits such as Lashkar-e-Tayyba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Harkat-ul Mujahideen and Al- Badar. The move is part of the tough measures President Pervez Musharraf has vowed against religious extremists. “Removing signboards from their offices indirectly means closure of their offices. In the first step we have decided to remove boards and stop them from collecting funds in the name of jihad,” Mr Sheikh said. Mr Musharraf last week banned two Islamic extremist groups, Lashkar-i- Jhangvi and Sipah-e-Mohammad, who were widely blamed for bloody violence between the majority Sunni and minority Shia Muslims. Leaders of several outfits strongly condemned the order, calling it an un-Islamic move to ease the United States pressure to rein in militants and extremists. “This action can only appease the United States or India and people of Pakistan will not stop giving us funds,” Lashkar-e-Tayyaba spokesman Yaha Mujhaid said. He said that the Lashkar high command would meet in the next few days to decide the future course of action in cooperation with other groups. The Al- Badar group condemned the decision as “un-Islamic.”


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