Following the ban on the Jamaatud Dawa (JuD), the foreign office on Thursday declared that the bank accounts of JuD had been frozen and travel restrictions imposed on the leaders of the organisation, including the notorious Hafiz Saeed. Saeed, thought by many in India to be one of the masterminds of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, is a local darling of many in political and religious circles for his hard views on India and Kashmir. The JuD, widely considered as a charity front for the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), operates widely across Pakistan and has been hailed of late, for its response time to the 2014 floods, and the IDP crisis following Operation Zarbe Azb in North Waziristan. Saeed lives in Lahore, with a heavy police presence at his guard.

Following the foreign office announcement, a JuD spokesperson brazenly announced that the “charity work” of the organisation would continue, citing the support of the judiciary and continuing to hold that the JuD had no links whatsoever with LeT. As the National Action Plan swings into effect and efforts are in full force to gather public support, this would be a terrible time for the JuD to be seen as a “martyr” organisation, having to sacrifice all its “good work” because the government gave in to international pressure. In the enormous vacuum that the government has itself created with regards to social work, it would not be difficult for the JuD to turn the sympathies of the public squarely in its favour. And that would in turn, unravel the official narrative the government is finally building against terrorism.

Added to this, is the very real question of implementation. Hafiz Saeed, who until last month was hosting mammoth gatherings at Minar-e-Pakistan, is not going to take this lying down. And those who support him, some of them in powerful political circles, are going to do his bidding. Will the ban translate into a real halting of LeT activities? Will JuD challenge the ban on legal grounds and win as they have in the past? The government will have to swallow a very bitter pill, and finally prove what it has been denying to the world all along: that the all-elusive link between Saeed and LeT exists; a link that this ban seems to endorse by implication.