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Pakistan Bans Already-Banned Terrorist Groups

3:15 PM, Aug 5, 2009 • By BILL ROGGIO
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The Pakistani government is touting its move to ban major terror groups that operate in the country.

The Pakistan government has banned 25 religious and other organisations, including the Jamaat-ud-Dawah, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashker-e-Taiba, the interior ministry said on Wednesday.

The ministry presented a list of the banned organisations in the National Assembly or lower house of parliament. It also said the Sunni Tehrik had been put on a watch list.

Among the organisations included in the list of outlawed groups are JuD, LeT, JeM, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariah Muahammadi, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Al-Akhtar Trust, Al-Rasheed Trust, Tehreek-e-Islami, Islamic Students Movement, Khair-un-Nisa International Trust, Islami Tehreek-e-Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Islam, Balochistan Liberation Army, Jamiat-un-Nisar, Khadam Islam and Millat-e-Islamia Pakistan.

The Times of India astutely picked up on the fact that some of these groups are already banned:

Pakistan banned the JuD after the UN Security Council declared it a front for the LeT in December last year. The LeT and JeM were banned by the country in 2002.

The Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariah Muahammadi, the pro-Taliban group behind the disastrous Malakand Accord that ultimately ceded more than 10 percent of the country to the Taliban, was banned after its leaders sent more than 10,000 fighters into Afghanistan to battle the United States in 2001-2002. Lashkar-e-Islam was banned during the summer of 2008. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi was labeled by Pakistan as a terror group in 2003.

So what does re-banning these groups accomplish other than gratuitous headlines that make it appear the government is taking meaningful action?

And if Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamaat-ud-Dawa (the latter being a front for the former) both have been banned twice, why was its leader, Hafiz Saeed, freed from house arrest?