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Despite No Explicit Budget Mention, Pakistani Punjab's Funds for JuD Go Up

However, in the budget document released this year, there is no mention of the infamous headquarters. Instead, the subheading LQ42350 has an ambiguous title -- grant to health and educational institutions.

Published: 28th June 2014 07:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th June 2014 07:49 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: When the Finance Minister of Pakistan’s Punjab province presented the budget on June 13, there was an interesting change from the last year -- no explicit mention of funds being sent to Jamaat-ud-Dawa’s charity branches.

Last year, there was a mention of a Rs 3.73-crore grant-in-aid to the chief administrator of Muridkey Markaz, the headquarters of Jamaat-ud-Dawa headed by 26/11 attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed, in the budget estimates for 2013-14.

CHART.JPGHowever, in the budget document released this year, there is no mention of the infamous headquarters. Instead, the subheading LQ42350 has an ambiguous title -- grant to health and educational institutions.

This is in contrast with the other listings in the same category which are marked to specific organisations or projects.

Incidentally, the grant for LQ42350 under which Murdikey Markaz was listed in 2013 has increased to `3.81 crore in 2014-15. Jamaat-ud-Dawa runs various charities which operate schools, hospitals and dispensaries across the province.

The province is ruled by a Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) government headed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s brother, Shahbaz Sharif.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took up the issue of the funding to Jamaat-ud-Dawa when he met Nawaz in New York on September 29, 2013.

This change in the budget could be because of the increased international pressure on Lashkar-e-Taiba.

On Thursday, the US State Department termed Lashkar-e-Taiba a foreign terrorist organisation with four aliases, one of them being Jamaat-ud-Dawa.

The provincial government could also have thought that mentioning Jamaat-ud-Dawa in the budget would be like a red rag to a bull, with a new government at the Centre in India.

Even though there is no explicit mention of Muridkey Markaz, funds are likely to be diverted to the JuD headquarters through various projects. In the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks, the UN Security Council had designated Jamaat-ud-Dawa as a front organisation of Lashkar-e-Taiba.

In 2009-10, the Punjab government provided `82 million to the organisation. In 2010-11, `79.77 million was allocated for six organisations at Markaz-e-Taiba and a grant-in-aid of `3 million to Jamaat-ud-Dawa’s Al-Dawa school network.

The Punjab provincial government had justified the allocation, saying that it had taken over Markaz and that welfare services had to be continued.



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