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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Dawa Leaders Arrested, Hiding in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Dec 12: Several offices and other facilities of Jamaatud Dawa were sealed and a large number of its members arrested as the countrywide crackdown on the organisation continued on Friday after the United Nations declared the group as a ‘terrorist outfit’.

The government placed Dawa Amir Hafiz Mohammad Saeed under house arrest for three months and sealed Al-Qaadsia Mosque, the headquarters of the organisation, on Thursday.

Over 181 workers of the Dawa were arrested and 46 offices sealed across the Frontier province on Friday.

Police sources said that Dawa’s provincial office in Peshawar’s Fawara Chowk was sealed on Thursday night while other offices in the province on Friday morning.Dawa spokesman Attiq-ur-Rehman Chohan told reporters outside the sealed office at Fawara Chowk that workers were arrested from offices in Mardan, Mansehra, Abbottabad, Haripur, Malakand, Swabi and other districts of the province.

He said the government action would deprive over 400,000 people displaced by the military operation in the Bajuar Agency of food, medicines and other items.

He said Dawa leaders were in touch with the NWFP government to find a solution to the problems. He said that leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-N, Jamaat-i-Islami, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam and other parties were also being contacted to raise the issue in the Senate and National Assembly.

The cantonment police sealed an office of the Dawa at a mosque in Jangle Khel area of Kohat district.The caretaker of the office, Qari Naseeruddin, and his deputy Maulana Imshad had gone underground on Wednesday after collecting hides of sacrificial animals, witnesses said.

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