Pakistan bans companies from donating cash to UN-proscribed entities, individuals

In this file photo, Pakistan’s Interior Minister, Ahsan Iqbal, speaks with a Reuters correspondent during an interview in Islamabad, Pakistan on June 12, 2017. (REUTERS)
Updated 02 January 2018
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Pakistan bans companies from donating cash to UN-proscribed entities, individuals

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has banned all registered corporate companies from donating cash to entities and individuals proscribed by the UN Security Council (UNSC).
“Their accounts are frozen, and the law regarding charitable organizations is being further strengthened to impose higher penalties on donations to proscribed organizations,” Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal told Arab News.
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), the country’s apex corporate regulator, said a fine of up to 10 million rupees ($90,600) would be imposed on companies found guilty of violating the ban.
The SECP said it “hereby prohibits all companies from donating cash to the entities and individuals listed under the UNSC sanctions committee’s consolidated list.”
The Interior Ministry has so far proscribed 65 organizations and splinter groups — including Al-Qaeda, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), the Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Al-Harmain Foundation — as well as individuals.
The US has labeled the JuD and FIF as “terrorist fronts” for the LeT, which America and India blame for the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people.
The JuD and FIF operate large charity networks across Pakistan, includes hospitals, seminaries, a publishing house, medical centers and ambulances.
The charities also set up free medical camps across the country all year round, and provide emergency support during natural disasters.
JuD spokesman Yahya Mujahid said the organization will go to court if the government takes any action against it and the FIF.
“We will not remain silent. We will fight a legal battle,” he said in a statement following reports of possible action against the charities.
“Courts have given permission to JuD to continue with their preaching, relief and welfare activities freely,” he said. “Despite this, the government often takes such steps only to please India.”
Sajid Gondal, a deputy director at the SECP, told Arab News: “For the first time, we’ve barred companies from donating cash to proscribed outfits. It’s a law now, and we’ll ensure its strict implementation.”
He said the regulator will monitor companies’ financial statements and annual returns, and impose hefty fines on those found guilty of violating the law.
But Afzal Ali Shigri, a former police inspector general, told Arab News: “I believe that none of the banned charities receive donations through banks and other traditional channels. All of them receive cash donations either by hand or through illegal channels.”


Extension of Brexit transition would not solve the problems — German minister

Updated 4 min 38 sec ago
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Extension of Brexit transition would not solve the problems — German minister

  • ‘But an extension alone does not solve the problems’
  • ‘There is no reasonable solution yet over a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland’

BERLIN: The European Union and Germany’s government will not block an extension of the post-Brexit transition period, but an extension alone will not solve the problems on hand, European Affairs Minister Michael Roth said on Friday.
“If that solves problems and if a few more months are needed to negotiate the details of future relations, then it will certainly not fail because of the EU-27 and because of us in Berlin,” Roth told German broadcaster WDR.
“But an extension alone does not solve the problems,” he added.” “There is no reasonable solution yet over a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.”