Pak's Punjab govt appoints administrators in JuD seminaries

M Zulqernain

Lahore, Nov 28 (PTI) Pakistan's Punjab government has appointed administrators in 150 seminaries, mostly belonging to Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed's Jammat-ud-Dawah (JuD), in the province, an official said on Thursday.

According to officials, JuD's network includes 300 seminaries and schools, hospitals, a publishing house and ambulance service. The JuD and its so-called charity wing Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) have about 50,000 volunteers and hundreds of other paid workers.

In March 2019, Punjab government seized control of 180 seminaries, two colleges, four hospitals, 178 ambulances and 153 dispensaries associated with the JuD and the FIF in the province following international pressure in the wake of Pulwama terror attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir.

The official of the Punjab government told PTI on Thursday that administrators have been appointed in some 150 seminaries of the banned outfits, mostly JuD, in Punjab province.

'An administrator is a Grade-17 officer of the Education Department of the Punjab government who will manage the affairs of a seminary,' he said.

The JuD seminaries in Punjab are located in Lahore, Sheikhupura, Okara, Pakpattan, Kasur, Narrowal, Mandi Bahaudin, Sargodha, Khushab, Chiniot, Jhang, Chakwal, Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Sahiwal, Muzafargarh, Rahim Yar Khan, Rajanpur and Vehari.

Saeed-led JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the Lashkar-e-Taiba which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attacks. The US declared the LeT as a foreign terrorist organisation in June 2014.

Earlier, Pakistani authorities had appointed two administrators to supervise a seminary and a mosque believed to be the headquarters of the Jaish-e-Mohammad, the terror outfit which claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack.

The Punjab government appointed the administrators two days after it announced taking over the control of Madrassatul Sabir and Jamia-e-Masjid Subhanallah in Bahawalpur, over 400-km from Lahore. The seminary and mosque are believed to be the headquarters of Jaish-e-Mohammad.

Saeed has been in jail in Lahore since July last on the charges of terror financing while JeM chief Masood Azhar is operating from an undisclosed location in Pakistan. PTI MZ ZH ZH