Pakistan says it has intensified its crackdown against terrorists on Thursday, with the government announcing it has taken control of 182 madrassas and detained more than 100 people as part of its push against banned terror groups.
Pakistan's interior ministry said it was part of a long-planned drive, not a response to Indian anger over what New Delhi calls Islamabad's failure to rein in terror groups operating on Pakistani soil.
Pakistan is facing immense global pressure to act against terror groups carrying out attacks in India, including Jaish-e-Mohammed or JeM, which claimed responsibility for the February 14 terror attack that killed at least 40 soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir.
Provincial governments in Pakistan have "taken in their control management and administration of 182 seminaries (madaris)", Pakistan's interior ministry said in a statement, referring to religious schools and their links to terror outfits.
"Law enforcement agencies have taken 121 people under preventive detention as of today," the Pakistani ministry added.
What to do with madrassas is a thorny issue in Pakistan, a deeply conservative Muslim nation, where religious schools are often used for radicalisation of youngsters to join terror outfits, but such schools are also the only option available to millions of poor children.
Many banned terror groups such as JeM run such madrassas as a garb to radicalise young Pakistanis.
Pakistan yesterday took control of the assets belonging to Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawa and its wing Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation.