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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 April 2007, 11:58 GMT 12:58 UK
Court boost for 'extremist' group
Pakistan flag flies over ruins of Balakot
The al-Rashid Trust helped quake victims in Kashmir in 2005
A Pakistani court has ordered the government to allow a "banned" Islamic organisation to resume its activities.

The court in Karachi ruled that since the government had failed to produce the order banning the al-Rashid Trust it could reopen its offices.

The trust says it is involved only in humanitarian activities, but the Pakistani government and others have accused it of links with militants.

In 2001, US President George Bush named it as a sponsor of al-Qaeda.

Offices sealed

The Sindh High Court had ordered government lawyers to present the official order banning the organisation.

When they failed to do so, the court ruled that the trust could resume operations.

In February, the organisation's 28 offices around the country were sealed by the government, which said the UN had called for the action.

It is not the first time the al-Rashid Trust has approached the courts over the government's attempts to stop it operating.

In 2001, the trust's accounts were frozen by the State Bank of Pakistan. But the order was later overturned on appeal.

Since then the Pakistaini government has frequently accused the al-Rashid Trust of providing financial assistance to militant groups.

The trust publishes an Islamic newspaper, Zarb-e-Momin, and the authorities allege it is close to the extremist Jaish-e-Mohammad group.


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