US sanctions two LT proxies
By Khalid Hasan
WASHINGTON: The State Department has included the Jamaatu Daawa (JUD) and Idara Khidmat-e-Khalq (IKK), the renamed aliases of the banned Lashkhar-e-Tayyiba (LT), to the specially designated list of terrorist organisations that pose a threat to the United States.
The Lashkar has been operating with complete freedom in Pakistan under its new names and its volunteers were involved in relief work, described by many as timely and commendable in Azad Kashmir in the wake of the October 2005 earthquake. It has also held rallies in the country and raised funds without much let or hindrance from the authorities, leading to speculation that the group had backing from some section of the establishment. The US action took time because of the legal requirements such a designation needs from a number of agencies and departments.
The US action has been taken under Executive Order 13224 blocks all property, and interests in property, of JUD and IKK that are in the United States, or come within the United States, or under the control of US persons. The secretary of state took this action in consultation with the attorney general, the secretary of the Treasury, and the Department of Homeland Security.
The official State Department announcement said: “LET is one of the three largest and best trained groups fighting in Kashmir against India. After the Secretary of State’s designation of LET as a terrorist organisation in 2001 and the Pakistani government’s banning the group, LET renamed itself JUD in order to evade sanctions. JUD established IKK as a public welfare organisation that it utilises to collect funds and undertake other activities. LET has been sanctioned by the United Nations 1267 Committee for its association with Al Qaeda.”