In a paradigm shift in its policy against terrorism, Pakistan has included Jamaat-ud-Dawa led by the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed and the dreaded Haqqani network in the list of proscribed organisations after the US mounted pressure on the country.
The step was taken after pressure heaped on the country to stop making a distinction between good and bad militants following a deadly Taliban attack on an army-run school in Peshawar that killed 150 people, mostly children.
A government official said that the decision to ban JuD and several other groups was taken by the government several days ago and tasked the Interior Ministry to decide the modality to implement it.
The ministry followed by including the name of JuD and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), the two groups led by Saeed, in the list of banned organisation for their involvement in extremism and militancy.
An official told Dawn newspaper that it was the demand of the United States to ban the Haqqani Network and JuD but the Pakistan government was using "delay tactics".
The decision comes days ahead of US President Barack Obama’s visit to India to be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day Parade on January 26.
Other groups added to the notorious list of banned entities are Harkat-ul-Jihad Islami, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, Ummah Tameer-i-Nau, Haji Khairullah Hajji Sattar Money Exchange, Rahat Limited, Roshan Money Exchange, Al-Akhtar Trust and Al-Rashid Trust.
After the ban, the assets of these groups will be frozen.