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Since 1st March, 1999
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Pak puts ball in UN court

Dec. 10: Pakistan has assured the UN that it will ban the Jamaat-ud-Dawa if the league of countries endorses Delhi’s belief that the charity is a terrorist outfit.

The assurance was followed by confirmation from Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani that two Lashkar-e-Toiba members wanted by India for the Mumbai attacks had been detained.

Pakistan gave an undertaking to the UN Security Council that it would outlaw the Dawa, suspected by India to have carried out the terror strikes, if the Council declares it a terrorist outfit. The undertaking given by Pakistan’s ambassador to the UN, Abdullah Hussain Haroon, came after India asked the Council to put sanctions on the Dawa and its leaders.

But Gilani said he had no up-to-date information on whether Maulana Masood Azhar, the leader of the Jaish-e-Mohammad and on India’s most-wanted list, had also been detained.

Gilani also disclosed that Pakistan had earlier blocked an attempt by the US to include in a UN terror list the name of former ISI chief Hamid Gul.

“Soon after our government was formed, a resolution was moved in the Security Council (for inclusion of Gul in the UN list for his alleged links with al Qaida and the Taliban) but we got it put on hold,” Gilani said.

The resolution was never discussed and further steps would be taken by Pakistan if it was “no longer on hold”, he added.

In Washington, President George W. Bush said state sponsors of terror were as guilty as the terrorists and would be held accountable. “We have made clear that governments that sponsor terror are as guilty as the terrorists and will be held to account,” Bush said without naming any country.

A PTI report quoted secretary of state Condoleezza Rice as warning of “unintended consequences” if Pakistan did not act against “non-state actors” — a term used by Islamabad to distance the government from the terrorists.

Late tonight, the US Senate adopted a resolution asking Pakistan to “aggressively” probe possible links of elements originating from its soil to the Mumbai attacks. It lauded India for exercising “restraint”.

Prime Minister Gilani said in Multan that Lashkar leaders Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Zarrar Shah were being held for questioning. “They have been detained for investigation,” he said, but did not specify what the inquiries pertained to.

Unnamed Pakistani officials had said Lakhvi, who heads the operations of the banned outfit, was arrested in a raid on a camp in Pakistan-held Kashmir on Sunday, but there was no confirmation from the government so far.


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