Pakistan bans collection of animal hides for charity

November 17th, 2010 - 7:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban By Awais Saleem
Islamabad, Nov 17 (IANS) The Pakistan government has banned the collection of animal hides by militant and religious groups for charity on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha when Muslims sacrifice animals to fulfill a religious duty.

Eid is being celebrated in Pakistan Wednesday. The religious groups had already started advertising for the collection of hides from the public.

Millions of hides are collected on each Eid. The hides, believed to be used in militant activities, have been traditionally a big source of revenue for these groups.

“The government took strong notice of this campaigning and has placed a complete ban on any religious organisation from collecting hides,” Interior Minister Rehman Malik said here Wednesday.

“Anybody indulging in such activity would be tried in the court of law,” he said.

The Wafaq-ul-Madaris (board of seminaries) in Pakistan has dismissed the ban as “unacceptable”.

Wafaq-ul-Madaris chairman of Qari Hanif Jallundhry told IANS: “It is improper to equate religious organisations involved in philanthropic activities with those carrying out terrorist acts”.

There are several banned militant outfits in Pakistan like Taliban, Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, Lashkar-i-Islami and Lashkar-i-Taiba etc., which started as religious and philanthropic organisations before turning violent.

The government has already placed a complete ban on their activities, besides freezing their assets and bank accounts.

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