Lahore: The JuD, a front for the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba, is busy collecting funds in the name of providing relief to victims of an earthquake in Pakistan despite efforts by the world community to cut off its access to financing.
The organisation, whose chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed has been accused of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai attacks, has set up camps to collect funds across the country, especially in Punjab province where it has a large following.
Saeed announced yesterday that the Jamaat-ud-Dawah will build 2,000 houses in quake-affected areas of Balochistan province and appealed to people to donate generously for the cause. About 500 people were killed by the quake last month.
The JuD is collecting funds under the umbrella of Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation, one of its front organisations. The JuD set up the Foundation when Pakistani authorities imposed restrictions on it after the Mumbai attacks.
The Foundation has also set up camps across the country to collect the hides of animals sacrificed during Eid-ul-Azha. Experts have estimated that the JuD makes millions of rupees every year by selling these hides to tanneries.
Saeed often addresses public gatherings in districts across Punjab and appeals to people to donate for the "cause of Kashmir".
Besides the JuD`s fund-raising activities, the PML-N government in Punjab province has not hesitated in making allocations for the group in the name of running its educational and welfare projects that were taken over after the Mumbai attacks.
In this year`s budget, the Punjab government of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, the younger brother of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, allocated over Rs 61 million for Markaz-e-Taiba, the JuD`s largest centre at Muridkay.
The UN Security Council designated the JuD a front for the LeT after the Mumbai attacks. Since then, the UN and US have sanctioned several JuD leaders, including those involved in fund-raising.