Pakistan Shuts Down Attack-Linked Charity

One day after a U.N. Security Council panel declared Pakistani charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa a front for the group blamed for the Mumbai attacks, Pakistan shuttered the agency's offices, placed its leader under house arrest and promised to cut off its bank accounts, according to Pakistani and Jamaat officials.

"We feel duty bound to the international community," Rehman Malik, the interior ministry chief, told ABC News in an interview. "Because we feel that the criminals should be brought to justice."

Malik said that all offices of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which U.S. officials do not distinguish from the banned militant organization Lashkar-e-Taiba, had been sealed. Malik also promised to shut its bank accounts and prevent members from participating in politics.

Hafiz Saeed, Jamaat-ud-Dawa's leader, was placed under house arrest today, Saeed's spokesman Abdullah Muntazir confirmed to ABC News.

While Pakistan has denied its move against Jamaat-ud-Dawa was a result of pressure, India and the United States have leaned heavily on the Pakistani government to crack down on terrorist groups training within its borders.

One U.S. official described a visit here by Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in the days after the attack as a message that the Pakistanis had been "caught with their hands in the cookie jar" and needed to make amends.

White House spokesman Scott McCormack today was cautiously optimistic about Pakistan's crackdown on Jamaat-ud-Dawa.

"The Pakistani government has ... acted on what we think are good instincts in terms of going after some of these individuals and extremist groups, and we'll see what the next steps are," McCormack said.

For the first time today, a Pakistani government official seemed to acknowledge that the terrorists who attacked in Mumbai last month, killing more than 170 people, had trained inside Pakistan.

Speaking about India's reaction to the terrorist attacks, Malik said in the interview, "India is rightly crying. They [the terrorists] have used our soil."

Pakistan's moves against Jamaat-ud-Dawa come as Indian officials express exasperation over what they call a lack of official information coming from the Pakistani government.

President Asif Ali Zardari called Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Monday, but Indian diplomats say they have not received official word of Pakistan's moves against Jamaat-ud-Dawa. They admit they're calling reporters on both sides of the border to try and determine what Pakistan is doing.

India Questions How Far Pakistan Is Willing to Go

"If you don't share information, how do you begin a joint investigation?" asked one Indian diplomat in a conversation with ABC News, referring to Pakistan's repeated pledge to work together investigating the Mumbai attacks. "This is something that has aggrieved us. Sharing information need not be a big deal. It can be done as subtly as can be."

Indian officials privately question how far Pakistan is willing to go in cracking down on Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Lashkar-e-Taiba, which investigators in Mumbai say organized the attack.

Jamaat-ud-Dawa, unlike Lashkar-e-Taiba, had not been banned in Pakistan and claims to be a separate charity organization. Both have denied any involvement in the attacks.

Pakistani officials admit there are serious risks if they crack down too quickly. Terrorist groups have helped destabilize Pakistan in the past, politically, economically and violently.

"The risk -- I tell you what it is," Malik said. "Street power. Because the religious parties and the extremists are joining hands, we are already seeing that. … Violence, yes, that is a risk [as well]."

After the government's moves today, Jamaat-ud-Dawa criticized officials for acting "hastily," in the words of spokesman Muntazir.

"Justice hurried is justice buried," he told ABC News, saying only one day had passed between the U.N. resolution and Pakistan's placing Saeed under house arrest.

"This is the reason that the Muslims all over the world feel that the Security Council is an institution to damage the cause of the Muslims," Muntazir said. "At least they should have heard us defend ourselves."

The U.N. panel consists of all 15 members of the Security Council, which has not included Pakistan since 2004. It had been deliberating on the resolution that linked Jamaat-ud-Dawa with Lashkar-e-Taiba for months, a U.S. official said.

In insisting that Pakistan is willing to go after any terrorists inside its borders, Malik tied Lashkar-e-Taiba, whose strength comes from the eastern Punjab district of Pakistan, with al Qaeda and Taliban-linked militants, who are based in the country's volatile tribal areas along the Western border.

Malik Claims Mumbai Attack Was Qaeda Strategy

"They're all one. Al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba, they operate together," Malik said. "We will take action, we ordered it and the government of Pakistan is very, very clear that there is no mercy for the terrorists irrespective of whether they are Tehrik-e-Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba or anyone else."

He also suggested that a possible motive for the attacks centered around the Pakistani military's fight against the Taliban, instead of just an attempt to punish India.

Saying he was speaking only for himself and not for the government, Malik said: "Al Qaeda saw that Pakistan now is winning the war on terrorism and they are in trouble. So they think, 'let us engineer something to create a problem between India and Pakistan.' So they, obviously, [Pakistan] will have to remove the forces from the western border, and [al Qaeda] will eventually be able to take over the tribal areas and they will be able to create their own kind of policies."

After the Mumbai attacks, India asked Pakistan to hand over three men who have long been on India's wish list: Tiger Memon and Daewood Ibrahim, crime bosses who India holds responsible for a 1993 attack in Mumbai and who are believed to live in Karachi; and Maulana Masood Azhar, the head of the jihadi organization Jaish-e-Mohammad.

Despite reports to the contrary, Malik insisted that Azhar had not been placed under house arrest. And he denied that either Memon or Ibrahim were living in Pakistan. "They may be sitting in Europe," Malik said.