Pakistan’s Banned Groups Asset Freezing Order – A Brief Assessment | Security Risks Asia Made with Humane Club

Pakistan’s Banned Groups Asset Freezing Order – A Brief Assessment

Published Mar 05, 2019
Updated Apr 29, 2020

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan has issued the “Pakistan United Nations Security Council (Freezing and Seizure) Order, 2019,” vide S.R.O. 261 (I)/2019 dated 4 March 2019 – In exercise of the powers conferred by section 2 of the United Nations (Security Council) Act, 1948 (XIV of 1948), the Federal Government

As per the Ministry the objective of the UNSC (Freezing and Seizure) Order 2019 is to streamline the procedure for implementation of Security Council Sanctions against designated individuals and entities.

The Ministry states that the Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter authorizes the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), acting under Article 41, to decide measures, not involving the use of armed force, to give effect to its decisions for the maintenance of international peace and security. In Pakistan, such decisions of the Security Council are implemented through the United Nations Security Council Act (UNSC), 1948 (Act No. XIV of 1948).

Over the years the sanctions regime of the United Nations Security Council have evolved. A key measure of these sanctions regimes is “assets freeze” under which States are required to freeze/seize the assets of designated entities and individuals as soon as they are designated by the relevant UNSC Sanctions Committee. Thus the United Nations Security Council (Freezing and Seizure) Order, 2019 has been formulated in line with UNSC and FATF standards.

Dawn News reported that National Security Committee had “decided to accelerate action against proscribed organisations” in a meeting on 21 February with orders for re-imposition of ban on JuD and FIF.  However there was no mention of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in that order.

While Dawn quotes sources stating that the Order is not in response to the Indian pressure on the Pulwama attack but decisions had been taken prior to 14 February the day the terror incident happened.

A report in the Scroll indicated that despite the decision for ban by the NCA, the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) has listed the Jamat-ut-Dawa and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation  as under watch.

Within this Order the “Authorized Agency” is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and such other agency or department designated by it while the “Seizing Agency” means any person, whether governmental or non-governmental, public or private, to whom a request is made by the Authorized Agency to freeze or seize any property.

Action will be based on the requests made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the relevant agencies for seizing assets of banned terrorist groups.

How this order will be followed up and what action will be taken by relevant agencies remains unclear and given the legacy of lack of strong curtailment of such groups, the intent will remain largely suspect till active implementation is seen on the ground.