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  India   All India  06 Mar 2019  Masood Azhar’s son, brother among 44 JeM men detained in Pakistan

Masood Azhar’s son, brother among 44 JeM men detained in Pakistan

Published : Mar 6, 2019, 1:55 am IST
Updated : Mar 6, 2019, 1:55 am IST

Interior ministry secretary Azam Suleman Khan said a dossier shared by India with Pakistan last week also contained names of Raoof and Hamad.

Masood Azhar
 Masood Azhar

New Delhi/Islamabad: Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar’s son and brother were among 44 members of the banned militant outfits taken into “preventive detention”, Pakistan said on Tuesday, an action that coincided with India’s assertion that it will have “all options” available in case there is another cross-border terror attack.

Doubting Islamabad’s sincerity, Indian sources said that the Pakistani government’s objective, at the moment, is simply to mislead the international community into believing that it is taking steps to counter terror.

“We will not allow them to do this. Our effort and focus is to reach out to all members of the UN Security Council to explain Pakistan’s ploy,” a source added.

Pakistani interior ministry said, “It was decided (at a meeting) to speed up action against all proscribed groups. In compliance, 44 under observation members of proscribed organisations, including Mufti Adbul Raoof and Hamad Azhar, have been taken in preventive detention for investigation.” Hamad is the son of Masood Azhar while Raoof is his brother.

Interior ministry secretary Azam Suleman Khan said a dossier shared by India with Pakistan last week also contained names of Raoof and Hamad.

“It does not mean that action is being taken against only those individuals who are mentioned in the dossier,” he added, amid mounting pressure from the global community on Pakistan to rein in terror groups operating on its soil.

He said that the Pakistani government has demanded evidence against the said individuals through the foreign office as action will be taken against them if evidence is found during investigations. “In case we don’t find any evidence against them we will release them,” he said.

The Pakistani official, however, claimed the action taken on Tuesday was under any pressure and claimed that action would be taken against all the proscribed organisations under the National Action Plan.

Indian government sources said that New Delhi would not ease the “maximum diplomatic pressure” it has built on Pakistan until Islamabad takes concrete action against terrorists operating from its soil or territory controlled by it.

Officials said that New Delhi’s counter-terror strikes in Balakot were intended to demonstrate the “capacity and will” to act against the terror network in Pakistan.

They said the action against the JeM terrorist training camp in Balakot was “over” and emphasised that India’s aim is to force Pakistan to take “demonstrable” action against terror groups.

Adding that the swift release of earlier-captured IAF pilot Wg. Cdr. Abhinandan Varthaman by Pakistan was the result of this pressure applied by India, an official said, “In Naya (new) Pakistan, we want to see naya action.”

An official source said, “If there is a subsequent terror attack, all options are there.” The reference to “all options” is usually taken to mean that the military option will continue to be on the table if there is another major terror attack in India that has links to terrorists across the border.

Referring to interviews given by Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to CNN and the BBC, sources said that it has emerged from these interactions that there are people in the Pakistani government who not only know where Azhar is, but are also in touch with him.

India has also shared with the US pictures of debris of the F-16 Amraam missile used by a Pakistan Air Force F-16 against the IAF last week, with sources expressing confidence that Washington would investigating the matter amid reports that Islamabad had violated defence agreements with the US by using the missile in an offensive operation against India.

The move came a day after Pakistan on Monday promulgated a law to streamline the procedure for the implementation of the UN sanctions against individuals and organisations.

Pakistani foreign office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal had said that the order means that the government has taken over the control of assets and properties of all banned outfits operating in the country.

The JeM had carried out the Pulwama suicide terror bombing in J&K on February 14 that killed over 40 CRPF personnel. After the terror strike, India had last week carried out airstrikes against JeM terror camps in Pakistan.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, the Pakistani foreign ministry said, “Pakistan’s high commissioner to India Sohail Mehmood will be returning to New Delhi, after completion of consultations in Islamabad.”

It said Pakistan is also committed to continued weekly contact at the military operations directorates level.

Tags: jaish-e-mohammed, masood azhar, mufti adbul raoof