News Analysis |
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions monitoring team arrived in Pakistan on Thursday for a two-day visit. The UNSC team will be assessing Pakistan’s compliance with the world body’s sanctions regime. Their arrival was not announced but a few details of their visit were revealed by a Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson on Thursday.
Dr. Muhammad Faisal, the FO spokesperson, told the journalist on his weekly media briefing that the Monitoring Team of UNSC 1267 Sanctions Committee which deals with Taliban, Al-Qaeda and Daesh, is in Pakistan. He explained that the visit was a part of regular visits to ensure that the member states are complying with UNSC Resolution 1267.
The experts believe that the ban on JuD, FIF and Hafiz Saeed might be lifted in the near future since Saeed is going to challenge the ban and the government lacks substantial evidence to arrest him.
The spokesperson also briefed that the purpose of the visit was to inform the member states of the international and regional threats from terrorism, and recommended measures through which they can improve the implementation of sanction measures. Dr. Faisal told journalists that Pakistan highlighted its efforts and accomplishments in the global and regional fight against terrorism.
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Media sources believe that 25 organization and 36 people included on the 1267 sanctions list operate from Pakistan, but the team will be focusing on Hafiz Saeed and Jamaat ud Dawa (JuD). The government took extra steps prior to the visit of the UN team which included an advertisement campaign cautioning people against making donations to banned organizations and the issuance of a directive preventing all media houses to publish messages or advertisements from banned organizations like JuD, Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) and others.
Media experts believe that the steps taken against Hafiz Saeed and his organizations might be temporary and an effort to please the UNSC team to avoid any sanctions against Pakistan.
On 1st January 2018, a notification was issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) that banned all organizations that were listed under the UNSC sanctions committee’s consolidated list. The banned organizations include LeT, JuD and FIF. Media experts believed it to be a move in light of the growing Indian and US pressure on Pakistan. The UNSC sanctions committee visit was also termed as one of the reasons for the ban.
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On 24th January, Hafiz Saeed approached the Lahore High Court (LHC) against his anticipated arrest by the Pakistani authorities. In his petition to the LHC, he claimed that the US and India wrongly blamed him for the Mumbai Attacks, and that they had no proof to back their claims. According to Saeed, Pakistani authorities want to arrest him during the visit of the UNSC sanctions monitoring team. The UNSC team is here for the second day and Hafiz Saeed has not been arrested.
Media experts believe that the steps taken against Hafiz Saeed and his organizations might be temporary and an effort to please the UNSC team to avoid any sanctions against Pakistan. The experts believe that the ban on JuD, FIF and Hafiz Saeed might be lifted in the near future since Saeed is going to challenge the ban and the government lacks substantial evidence to arrest him. The UNSC team’s investigation appears to be going in Pakistan’s way according to experts, and it might not have any consequences for the country after all.