–FO issues UNSC (Freezing and Seizure) Order, 2019 to streamline sanctions against designated entities
–Ministry of Interior directs all provinces to speed up action against banned groups under NAP
ISLAMABAD: After last month’s decision to ban Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) and its charity wing Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), the federal government on Monday issued an order to streamline the process for implementation of sanctions against individuals and entities designated by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
According to details, Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal announced issuance of the UNSC (Freezing and Seizure) Order, 2019, which is in accordance with the provisions of Pakistan’s UNSC Act of 1948.
The government has taken over the control of all banned outfits operating in the country, the FO spokesperson said. “All kinds of assets and properties of all [banned] organisations will be in the government’s control.”
He said that the federal government will now also seize the charity wings and ambulances of such banned outfits.
“The objective of the [order] is to streamline the procedure for implementation of Security Council Sanctions against designated individuals and entities,” according to the FO spokesperson.
The handout explained that the UN Charter authorises the UNSC to decide measures, “not involving the use of armed force”, that governments should implement to give effect to the council’s decisions for the maintenance of international peace and security.
In Pakistan, such decisions of the UNSC are implemented through the UNSC Act, 1948.
A key measure of the UNSC sanctions regime against suspected terrorist individuals or entities is the “assets freeze” action under states are required to freeze or seize the assets of designated entities and individuals “as soon as they are designated by the relevant UNSC Sanctions Committee”, the FO said.
It said the government has formulated the UNSC (Freezing and Seizure) Order, 2019 in line with the standards of the UNSC and Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
It is worth mentioning here that Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) is among the banned outfits this decision is applicable to.
Meanwhile, under the National Action Plan (NAP), the Ministry of Interior held a high-level meeting on Monday which was attended by representatives of all provincial governments. The interior ministry has directed the provinces to speed up the action against all proscribed organisations.
The United States (US), Britain and France — three permanent members of the UNSC with veto power — have again moved the Security Council for designation of Azhar as a global terrorist after Pulwama attack.
Pakistan, despite making significant progress on the initial concerns of FATF, came under renewed pressure at the Paris plenary last month. Islamabad was urged to quickly meet the deadline of May 2019, if it wishes to be de-listed from the grey list.
The National Security Committee had in its Feb 21 meeting “decided to accelerate action against proscribed organisations” and ordered re-imposition of ban on JuD and FIF. Prime Minister Imran Khan had on that occasion, while emphasising eradication of “militancy and extremism” from society, said the state could not be allowed to “become hostage to extremists”.