Terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar's brother Mufti Abdul Rauf and son Hamaz Azhar have been taken into preventive detention, Pakistan's Interior Ministry said on Tuesday, amid mounting pressure from the global community to rein in the terror groups operating from its soil and curb their financing. The two are among 44 members of banned groups that have been detained.
"It was decided to speed up action against all proscribed organisations. In compliance, 44 under-observation members of proscribed organisations, including Mufti Abdul Rauf and Hamaz Azhar, have been taken in preventive detention for investigation," the Pakistan government said in a statement.
"These actions will continue, as per the decisions taken in National Security Committee (NSC), while reviewing National Action Plan," the statement added.
The names of Mufti Abdul Rauf and Hamaz Azhar were mentioned in a dossier that was shared by India with Pakistan last week, news agency Press Trust of India quoted Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi as saying.
Mr Afridi, however, added that the action was not taken due to any pressure.
The action against these 44 members of banned groups comes a day after Pakistan promulgated a law to streamline the procedure for the implementation of the UN sanctions against individuals and organisations. Interpreting the order, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said it means that the government has taken over the control of assets and properties of all banned outfits operating in the country.
Pakistan is on a deadline fixed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international organisation that works to stop terror funding, to crack down on terror groups and their supporters who are running free in the country.
India, following the terror attack, hit the biggest Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp in Pakistan's Balakot in a "pre-emptive, non-military" strike. Pakistan's subsequent attempt at airstrikes targeting Indian military facilities across the Line of Control led to the worst escalation between the neighbours in decades. An Indian Air Force pilot, while chasing Pakistani jets was shot at, ejected and landed into Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir and was captured. Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman's release helped de-escalate tensions between the two countries.
With inputs from PTI