Lahore: The government of Pakistan’s Punjab province provided Rs 8.27 crore to Jamaat-ud-Dawa and its allied institutions during the last fiscal year, according to official documents.
The supplementary budget for the past fiscal tabled in the Punjab Assembly for approval revealed that the PML-N-led provincial government made a grant of over Rs 7.9 crore to the Markaz-e-Tayyaba, the JuD headquarters in Muridke near Lahore.
Another Rs 30 lakh was given as grants to schools run by the JuD in different districts of Punjab, according to the official documents.
Provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, under a cloud for his links to banned groups like the Sipah-e-Sahaba, admitted that the money had been given to the JuD.
He told a TV news channel on Tuesday that the money was given to these institutions after the JuD was “banned” in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks and the Punjab government appointed an administrator for the organisation.
The purpose of giving these grants was to continue welfare services provided by JuD’s schools, dispensaries and hospitals, Sanaullah said.
The UN Security Council declared the JuD a front for the banned Lashker-e-Toiba shortly after the Mumbai attacks.
Despite claims by Pakistani leaders that the JuD has been “banned,” no formal notification has been issued by the federal government to proscribe the organisation.
Meanwhile, a Punjab government spokesman has contended that the grants for the JuD had been given to the administrator for continuing welfare services.
A syllabus approved by the government had been adopted in the JuD’s educational institutions, the spokesman said in a statement. JuD spokesman Yahya Mujahid claimed his organisation had not received any money from the provincial government.
“We are a welfare organisation and raise our own funds from the public for providing educational and healthcare services to help the people,” he said.
Mujahid criticised the provincial minister for making a “false statement” to the media about the Punjab government giving money to the JuD and its institutions.