Acting tough on India's demands, the United Nations Security Council on Thursday imposed sanctions on Pakistan-based terror outfit Jamaat-ud-Dawah, the front organisation of banned Lashkar-e-Tayiba and also declared as terrorists its four top leaders, including JuD chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and suspected Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.
Besides Sayeed and Lakhvi, two other top leaders of the LeT, Haji Muhammad Ashraf and Zaki-ur-Bahaziq, both financiers of the JuD, have also been declared as terrorists by the UNSC.
India had made a strong plea in the Council for sanctions against the organisation, contending along with the United States, that JuD is a front for the LeT.
The Council also asked all member states to freeze their assets and imposed travel ban and arms embargo against the JuD members.
Since 2005, the UN Sanctions Committee has considered LeT to be a terrorist organisation affiliated with the Al Qaeda. The US and the European Union have already banned the LeT.
The decision was taken by the Council's committee on Al Qaeda and Taliban, which put JuD and the four individuals on the Consolidated List of persons and entities connected with Al Qaeda and Taliban.
The United States had sought a ban on Lakhvi, operations leader of the LeT, who is suspected to be the mastermind behind the Mumbai attacks, Ashraf, a JuD financier, and Bahaziq, an Indian-born Saudi who was allegedly collecting funds for the banned organisations in Saudi Arabia.
Pakistan had given a pledge to the Security Council that it would proscribe JuD should the Council decide to ban it.
The Committee had imposed sanctions on LeT in 2005, citing its affiliation with Al Qaeda. Pakistan had banned LeT in 2002 but it continues to operate under different names.
Reacting to the decision, the United States said it is pleased that the Committee has decided to move forward on these high-priority designations.
"These actions will limit the ability of known terrorists to travel, acquire weapons, plan, carry out, or raise funds for new terrorist attacks," said a statement by the US government.
The actions, it said, reaffirm the Council's commitment to updating the Consolidated List to ensure it continues to serve as a tool to help member states deter terrorist activities of Al Qaeda and affiliated groups.
During the debate in the Security Council on Tuesday, Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed had said the Jamaat-ud-Dawa and other such organisations need to
be proscribed internationally and effective sanctions imposed against them.
"Their country of origin needs to take urgent steps to stop their functioning," he had said while intervening in a debate on terrorism in UN Security Council.
"A message must also go out that perpetrators of terrorist acts must be brought to book and not given sanctuaries in some states," Ahamed had said.
The minister had asked Pakistan to act against terrorism emanating from its soil, failing which India will "do everything to protect its citizens'.
Close on the heels of Ahamed's hard-hitting remarks, Pakistan's Ambassador to UN, Abdullah Hussain Haroon, had promised that Islamabad would proscribe JuD should the Council decide to put sanctions on it after declaring it a terrorist group.
Besides this, no training camps for Lashkar-e-Tayiba or any entity of this nature would be allowed on its territory, he had said.
Significantly, China, a close ally of Pakistan, had in the past blocked three attempts in the Council to proscribe JuD.
The US, backed by United Kingdom and France, had twice tried to add JuD chief Hafiz Mohammed Saeed to the list of individuals and organisations connected to terrorism last May, but the moves were blocked by China. A similar attempt in April 2006 was also blocked by Beijing.