Pakistan has banned two groups globally recognised as terrorist outfits, Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD) and the Haqqani network, days before US President Barack Obama's visit to India, a Pakistani media report has said.
An official from the country's interior ministry said the United States had sought a ban on the two groups but the matter was delayed until now.
"During his recent visit to Islamabad, US Secretary of State John Kerry...appreciated the decision of the government to put a ban on the Haqqani network and the Jammat-ud Dawa," the official was quoted by Dawn newspaper as saying, adding that the recent attack on a Peshawar schools which killed hundreds of children, hastened the government to take action against militant organisations.
He said the government has already directed respective departments to take immediate steps to freeze the assets of the banned outfits, the publication reported.
The JuD – a self-declared humanitarian charity – was declared by US in 2008 to be a front for the terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is widely believed to be involved in the 26/11 attack in Mumbai that left 166 people dead.
Last year, the US State Department declared the JuD a "foreign terrorist organisation", thereby freezing any assets it had in the US. The United Nations had promised a reward of $10 million to anyone who gave information leading to the arrest of Lashkar's founder Hafiz Saeed.
Although Pakistan has repeatedly promised to crack down on the JuD, the Indian media have been continuously reporting that Hafiz Saeed operates openly in Pakistan, often holding public rallies and giving interviews.
The Haqqani Network, which was founded by Afghan warlord Jalaluddin Haqqani, has been blamed for some of the worst and high profile attacks on US-led forces in Afghanistan. The United States has designated the group as terrorist organisation in September 2012.