Islamabad: Banned militant groups like the Lashker-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad and Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami, blamed for terror strikes in India, have set up camps in Karachi to raise funds to help victims of the worst ever deluge sweeping Pakistan.
Office-bearers of the groups said the ban imposed on them has compelled them to work under different names.
The work of these groups is reminiscent of their activities during the 2005 earthquake, when they had more resources than the government itself.
The groups claim they have collected millions of rupees for the flood victims and that they are engaged in relief and rescue operations in affected areas, The Express Tribune newspaper reported.
The groups have given food and medical facilities to the survivors. Other militant groups engaged in relief operations are the Jamaat-ud-Dawah, blamed by India for the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Sipah-e-Sahaba, Harkatul Mujahideen, Hizbut Tahrir and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.
"JuD, under the name of Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation Pakistan, has set up around 29 relief camps at Khalid Bin Waleed Road, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Gulstan-e-Jauhar, Landhi, Clifton, Korangi and other areas (of Karachi)," an office-bearer of the organisation told the daily.
Initially, the JuD set up its camp under its own name but police started demanding extortion money, said a man identified only as Hussain, who is in-charge of the camp outside the Jamia Masjid at Khalid Bin Waleed Road.
"(The police says that since) we are a terrorist organisation, we have to give them a share of our earnings," said Hussain.
"When we tried to explain that this is charitable work, they started demolishing our camps, saying that we were banned organisations."
The chief of JuD`s Karachi division, Naveed Qamar, believes that the organisation was banned to appease the US and its allies as it has "nothing to do with terrorism."
He claimed the JuD runs a large network of Islamic schools and clinics and is engaged in welfare activities like disaster relief.
"We provide cooked food to 50,000 flood survivors in all four provinces every day and very soon we will reach out to 100,000 survivors," said Qamar.
The JuD claims to have distributed ration packets to around 8,000 families. Each packet costs Rs 3,200 and has ghee, rice, pulses, soap and other items.