Pakistan detains relatives of JeM militant leader

Pakistan arrests 44 Islamic militants

Pakistan arrests 44 Islamic militants

Mufti Abdul Rauf Asghar, the operational chief of Jaish-e-Mohammad, was just 24 years old when he masterminded the hijacking of IC-814 Indian Airlines commercial flight in 1999, which led India to finally release his elder brother Maulana Masood Azhar. It said that the meeting chose to speed up action against all proscribed organizations.

However, Afridi said that the action was not taken due to any pressure.

Pakistan's Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi said at a press conference in Islamabad that Raoof and Hamad Azhar are among 44 people arrested during the crackdown.

Masood Azhar, the chief of JeM, is in Pakistan, said Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in an interview last week.

India also wants to ensure that the world recognizes Pakistan is the epicentre of terrorism, the person said.

The crackdown came amid tensions with India following a suicide attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district on February 14 by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group that killed 40 CRPF soldiers.

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Pakistan denies any role and has said it does not provide safe haven to militants.

The minister said the action would be taken against all the proscribed organisations.

Afridi told that the action was taken in light of the decisions made during National Action Plan committee's meeting.

"This is across the board action and the impression should not be taken that that we are taking action against one organisation only", said Secretary Interior Khan adding that this operation will continue. The global terror-financing watchdog will complete a review in May 2019 on the basis of a 27-point action report and recommend a possible blacklisting if Pakistan doesn't comply, later this year.

He also said that if the government had to take over assets of any banned outfit, it could do so. He said anybody could be taken into custody if more evidence were found. Pakistan, from the get-go, rejected the Indian claim, urging New Delhi to share "actionable evidence" so that it could act upon it.

On Monday, Pakistan had enacted a law to streamline the process for the implementation of United Nations sanctions against individuals and organisations amid global pressure to curb the activities and financing provided to terror groups operating on its soil. Pakistan rejected the allegation asking India to share evidence.

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