Posts Tagged ‘Punjab’

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U.S. levies sanctions on LeJ leader

February 21, 2014
Lashkar-e-Jhanghvi co-founder

LeJ leader Malik Ishaq

Lashkar-e-Jhanghvi co-founder and leader Malik Ishaq has been blacklisted by the U.S. State Department.  The move prohibits Americans from activities such as doing business with, maintaining bank accounts for, and wiring money to or making donations to Ishaq.  LeJ was already under U.S. sanctions which have been renewed.

The Pakistani newspaper The News reports that Ishaq’s family received a monthly stipend from the government of Punjab while he was previously on trial for the murders of more than 100 people.  Such a stipend is reminiscent of rewards and pensions paid by the Palestinian Authority to the families of terrorists.  Ishaq is reportedly in jail again, but this time on hate speech charges.

The Long War Journal describes LeJ as an “anti-Shia terror group that has integrated with al Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan’s tribal areas. The Lashkar-i-Jhangvi has an extensive network in Pakistan and its members often serve as al Qaeda’s muscle for terror attacks.”

LeJ receives funding from Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf countries.

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Punjab province gives grant to terror camp

June 28, 2013

The government of Pakistan’s Punjab province has approved a line item in its budget to give 61 million rupees (approx. 600,000 U.S. dollars) to a terrorist base camp known as Markaz-e-Taiba in Muridkey (h/t msjri).

The Markaz-e-Taiba center falls nominally under the control of the Punjabi government, but is actually an encampment for Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which is itself a front charity for the terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba.

What’s so shocking is that this can occur in broad daylight.  Punjab isn’t even trying to hide it.  This is the point to which Pakistan’s “cooperation” in the war against terrorism has deteriorated.  If the U.S. and its allies are still unwilling to designate Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism, could it at least consider designating Punjab as a provincial sponsor?

From PTI via the Times of India:

Pak’s Punjab govt allocates millions of rupees for Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawa

PTI Jun 18, 2013

LAHORE: Pakistan’s Punjab province government has allocated over Rs 61 million in its budget for fiscal 2013-14 for the largest centre of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the parent body of banned terror group LeT that carried out the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Besides a grant-in-aid of over Rs 61 million for the JuD’s centre known as ‘Markaz-e-Taiba’, the provincial government has allocated Rs 350 million for setting up a “Knowledge Park” at the centre and other development initiatives.

Details of the allocations were presented in budget documents tabled in the Punjab assembly on Monday by the PML-N government led by chief minister Shahbaz Sharif.

One document stated: “Grant-in-aid to chief administrator Muridkey Markaz (is) Rs 61.35 million”. The JuD’s centre is located at Muridkay on the outskirts of Lahore.

In his budget speech in the assembly, finance minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman announced that the provincial government “intends to establish a Knowledge Park in Muridkey”.

He said the government had allocated Rs 350 million for the park and several other initiatives in Punjab.

Shortly after the UN Security Council designated the JuD a front for the LeT in the wake of the Mumbai attacks, the Punjab government took over the centre in Muridkey.

At that time too, Punjab was ruled by the PML-N. Since then, the government has allocated money in its annual budget for the administration of the centre in Muridkey.

In 2009-10, the government provided more than Rs 82 million for the administration of JuD facilities.

In fiscal 2010-11, chief minister Sharif, using his discretionary powers, allocated two separate grants for JuD facilities.

The government granted Rs 79.77 million for six organisations at Markaz-e-Taiba and a special grant-in-aid of Rs 3 million for the JuD’s Al-Dawa School System in several districts of Punjab.

Officials have said in the past that the allocations were needed to continue “welfare services” provided by the JuD’s schools, dispensaries and hospitals across the province of 90 million.

In the past, the Punjab government defended its decision of allocating money to the JuD by saying the grants had been awarded for the administrator of the Markaz-e-Toiba.

There is no formal ban on the JuD and its chief, Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, lives freely in Lahore despite a 10-million dollar bounty offered for him by the US.

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Punjab animal skin trade finances terrorists

February 7, 2013

http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2011/09/libyan-rebels-attack-final-qaddafi-strongholds/100157/

Pakistani jihadists are using money from leather sales to sponsor plots against India, according to the Hindustan Times on Jan. 26:

‘Pak terror group sold animal skin to fund anti-India ops’

The interrogation of alleged Hizbul Mujahideen spy Faroquee Ahmed Gulam Hasan Naiku, 37, has brought to the light the fund raising methods adopted by the Pakistan-based terror group for its anti-India operations.

Naiku claimed that a substantial portion of Hizbul’s fund is generated from the sale of skin of livestock, collected by volunteers at village fairs.

Sources in the criminal intelligence unit of the police, which arrested Naiku on Tuesday, said the Jammu and Kashmir resident had made over six trips to Pakistan prior to 2008. “He had even travelled by the Samjhauta Express on one occasion,” a source said.

Naiku said his Hizbul handler took him to training camps for ‘mujahids’  (terrorists), which are allegedly run across Pakistan with full knowledge of the government…

…Naiku, sources said, was taken to the stalls put up by the terror group in village fairs in the Punjab province.

“The Hizbul volunteers would collect donations from people in general. They would collect the skin of goats, sheeps and cows, which were then sold to leather industries and the proceeds would be used in funding terror in India,” the source said…

No estimates of Hizbul Mujahideen’s revenues from the sales are provided in the article, but a separate report in December revealed that Jamaat-ud-Dawa (a front charity for Lashkar-e-Taiba) and Jaish Muhammad made roughly $800,000 from animal skin sales during the festival of Eid al-Adha in 2012.  (To put that amount in perspective, the 9/11 terror attacks cost $400,000 to $500,000 to carry out.)  During the festival, “Muslims sacrifice animals to please God and donate the hides to charity,” and jihadist front charities and their sympathizers join in the mix.

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Zakat, ushr putting JeM back on map

October 18, 2011
Jihadist organization revives

Jaish-e-Muhammad (and Al Rehmat's coordinator, left) sets eyes on Punjab

The jihadist organization Jaish Muhammad, also known as Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), and its “charitable” cohort, Al Rehmat Trust, are off to the fundraising races again.  We first covered the illegal ushr tax collections by JeM in June.  Then this pair of excellent Express Tribune articles further explaining JeM’s fundraising efforts were published in August, but other posts kept getting in the way of covering them here.  So the stories are a little dated, but still far too important to overlook.

JeM may have sent the younger brother of the group’s deceased founder to raise zakat from rich Arab donors in Gulf states like Saudi Arabia.  Worse still, the coordinator of Al Rehmat tells the Tribune that he is able to operate on the ground and raise funds quite openly with the knowledge of provincial authorities.  Pakistani law enforcement shows zero signs of acting against JeM.  Read it all:

Militant group’s resurgence: Dreaded Jaish looks to rise again

ISLAMABAD:

After remaining underground for a decade since being banned in 2001, Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), the second largest jihadi group based in Punjab, has resumed full-scale public activity including fundraising while security agencies appear to be overlooking its ‘resurgence’.

Jaish activists and intelligence officials told The Express Tribune the group is in the process of regaining its traditional physical and financial strength which had dissipated during the ten-year ban imposed by former president Pervez Musharraf. The JeM, they added, is working on a plan to reach out to its activists who had abandoned the organisation after it came on the radar following an attack on the Indian parliament blamed on the group.

JeM is trying to consolidate avenues for fundraising, individual charity from within Pakistan and donations from Gulf states, which were partially blocked during the ban by the country’s security agencies. As a first step, an activist said, it had revived its charity, Al-Rehmat Trust, the group’s humanitarian wing once run by Master Allah Baksh, the father of Jaish founding chief Maulana Masood Azhar, till his death last year.

Maulana Ashfaq Ahmed, who is affiliated with the trust as its coordinator, told The Express Tribune from Bahawalpur, the city in southern Punjab where the organisation is based, that the charity’s fundraising was in full swing in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. The trust capitalises on Masood Azhar’s name for recreating the goodwill it once enjoyed when it had fought in Afghanistan along with the Taliban before the regime was driven out of power by international forces. Government agencies have never obstructed the trust’s fundraising in either Punjab or KP, Maulana Ashfaq added. When asked why, he remarked: “You can put this question to the government and its agencies. We operate on the ground. We have a visible presence.”

Led by Azhar, Jaish is the second largest jihadi outfit in the Punjab. Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is the biggest both in terms of the number of activists and infrastructure. Maulana Ashfaq said the trust’s offices were being re-established all over Punjab and KP including Jaish’s traditional strongholds in Kohat district and Hazara region. He added that fund-raising had gained momentum with the advent of Ramazan, but declined to give an approximation of the amount the charity might fetch by Eid. A younger brother of [deceased JeM founder] Masood, Amar Azhar (possibly his codename), was in Saudi Arabia to seek donations from rich businessmen and sympathisers in Gulf states.

Illusion

Officials of law enforcement agencies in Punjab said they had never received orders for a crackdown on the trust since it was not banned by the federal interior ministry. “Provincial authorities can only ban organisations proscribed by the federal government. Otherwise, they can take us to court,” said Senator Pervez Rasheed, an adviser to the Punjab government. Additional Inspector General (Investigations) Punjab police Azam Joya said not a single case against banned organisations for raising funds was referred to provincial law enforcers in recent months.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik was not available for  comment on why an organisation using the name of Jaish chief and sharing its headquarters has not been banned. KP Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain also declined to comment on the trust’s activities in the province.

Looking the other way

According to a report in this newspaper, the banned terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammad is trying to make a comeback, collecting funds through ‘ushr’ in south Punjab — where the government has failed to collect agriculture tax — and limbering up to claim its pound of flesh in a troubled and confused Pakistan on behalf of its master, al Qaeda. All its banned publications like Al Qalam and Muslim Ummah, together with the banned Al Rasheed Trust’s Zarb-e-Momin and Islam are allowed to be printed by the state through issuance of ABC certificates by the ministry of information and this enables them to solicit advertisements. (Zarb-e-Momin was once edited jointly by the Jaish chief Maulana Masood Azhar and jailed terrorist Omar Sheikh.)…

The State Department’s 2010 report on global terrorism stated that, “In addition, JEM collects funds through donation requests in magazines and pamphlets.”  In this way it is silimar to the affiliated Harakat ul-Mujahideen, which has also raised zakat from magazine ads.

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Mumbai links

July 15, 2011

The latest terrorist attacks against Mumbai may have been conducted by Lashkar-e-Taiba with the blessing of Pakistan’s spy service, the ISI.  A few tidbits for background on Lashkar-e-Taiba’s funding…

  • Historically, Lashkar-e-Taiba and its Jamaat-ud-Dawa arm receive money from zakat (Shariah Finance Watch)
  • Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamaat-ud-Dawa have raised money from mosques in Kashmir
  • Lashkar-e-Taiba is “flush with funds” from major Gulf and Pakistani donors
  • The provincial government of Punjab, Pakistan, has directly funded Jamaat-ud-Dawa
  • The 26/11 Mumbai attacks were funded in part by zakat, diamond smuggling, and halal meat sales.
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You grow it, we tax it

June 21, 2011

Jaish Muhammad terrorists from South Punjab, Pakistan, have been collecting the ushr (the Islamic tax on harvests) from farmers for many years according to a recent news blurb.

We have written about the oppressive nature of Islamic tax law with respect to Muslim farmers before here, here, and here.  Ushr has also been imposed by jihadist groups Lashkar-e Islam in Pakistan, by Amn Tehreek in Pakistan,  and by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Recall that the Pakistani government also has an ushr tax on top of whatever the local militants can bleed out of the farms.  From The Friday Times, “Nuggets from the Urdu Press,”  (h/t Rantburg) on June 11:

Pak farmer pays forced tax to jihadist

Hand it over, dirt farmer!

Jaish collecting “ushr”

Reported in the illicit publication with an ABC Certificate Al Qalam outlawed terrorist organisation Jaish Muhammad was collecting ushr in South Punjab under the auspices of Al Rehmat Trust also said to be banned. The newspaper informed that ‘ushr’ – a tax on farms legally only collectible by the state – was being collected for past ‘many years’ and its campaign was at its peak in April.

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Zakat committees “corrupt to the core”

February 28, 2010

In Pakistan, which has a fully Islamized tax system, local committees are used to collect and distribute zakat on behalf of the government.  The Punjabi zakat minister has admitted that those committees are totally corrupt, and that not enough has been done to replace the worst committee members.  From The Nation on Feb. 11:

LAHORE – The Punjab government on Wednesday admitted that the Zakat committees were corrupt to the core, and huge embezzlements had been identified in the audit of year-2007, while the present dispensation is yet to appoint ‘honest’ people to replace the corrupt and take action against them.

This ‘disclosure’ was made by Minister Zakat and Usher Haji Ehsan-ud-Din Qureshi while giving replies to questions about his Department here at the Punjab Assembly. As per usual, the Minister miserably failed in giving satisfactory answers despite Senior Minister Raja Riaz Ahmed’s repeated interferences with clarified statements, parchis from the gallery and continuous rephrasing of questions and statements – ‘carefully listen to the questions and properly answer them’ – by Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan, which amply proved that ‘one cannot make others read or comprehend something if they do not have the capacity’.

Interestingly, regarding the formation of the Committee, both Senior Minister and Minister Zakat dragged in the Federal Government, when the former maintained that the Centre was yet to amend the Constitution for forming new committees. However, the Opposition seemed to have raised a valid point when it quizzed the Treasury about its performance and working during the last two years.

The Opposition members, mainly led by Aamir Sultan Cheema for this part of the session, launched a bitter diatribe against the govt as they believed that it had failed in distributing much-needed money to the deserving, as it did not trust the old committees, and had not yet formed the new ones.

Moreover, they bitterly criticised the Treasury for its failure in taking action against the corrupt chairmen Zakat committees, especially when it was admitting that these chairmen were dishonest. Simultaneously, they also asked for mentioning the reasons for not publishing names of the corrupt.