Amid mounting pressure from the global community to rein in terror groups, Pakistan on Tuesday detained 44 members of proscribed organisations, including two relatives of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar. Among those detained were Mufti Abdur Rauf and Hammad Azhar, brothers of the JeM chief, the Pakistan Interior Ministry said.
“The interior minister just announced that 44 people linked to several militant groups have been taken into preventive custody. They include two close relatives of Masood Azhar, Mufti Abdur Rauf, and Hammad Azhar,” Reuters quoted a government spokesman as saying.
The development comes two days after India handed over a dossier to Pakistan with “specific details of JeM complicity in Pulwama terror attack and the presence of JeM terror camps and its leadership in Pakistan”. New Delhi has also provided a list of infrastructure and patronage enjoyed by Masood Azhar, his family, and cadres of JeM.
Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi said at a press conference that the dossier shared by India also contained names of Mufti Abdur Rauf and Hammad Azhar. He, however, said the action was not taken due to any pressure.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had said that if India wished to initiate a dialogue based on the dossier, the government was willing to engage with them.
On Monday, the Imran Khan-led government issued a United Nations Security Council (Freezing and Seizure) order to implement sanctions against designated terrorists and terrorist groups.
The new sanctions will directly affect the Jaish-e-Mohammad, the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the JuD and its chief Hafiz Saeed but not Jaish chief Masood Azhar, who is not listed as per the UNSC resolution 1267 sanctions committee.
After the Pulwama attack, in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed, Prime Minister Imran Khan had assured India that Pakistan would investigate and act against Jaish on “actionable intelligence” if shared by New Delhi.