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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Pakistan's military takes a big hit By Syed Saleem Shahzad

KARACHI - The United Nations Security Council's declaration this week of the Pakistani group Jamaatut Dawa as a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET), which is banned as a terrorist organization, marks a major setback for Pakistan's military establishment.

The UN has subjected Jamaatut to sanctions as a terrorist group, including an asset freeze, travel ban and arms embargo. Jamaatut claims it is a charity organization separate from the LET, which has been linked to the devastating attack on Mumbai last month in which close to 200 people died.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and his diplomatic corps based in Washington and New York had lobbied hard to counter efforts by the Pakistani military establishment to protect its strategic assets, as Islamabad wants a real clampdown on the LET and Jamaatut.

It has got its way, with the Security Council's al-Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee also designating as terrorists four men believed to be members of the LET or Jamaatut - group leader Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, chief of operations Zakir Rehman Lakhvi, finance chief Haji Muhammad Ashraf and financier Mahmoud Mohammad Ahmed Bahaziq. Bahaziq is also a former leader of the group in Saudi Arabia....


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