JeM Chief Masood Azhar’s Brother, Son, 44 Others Detained in Pak

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The brother, Mufti Abdur Rauf, and Hammad Azhar, a son of the now reportedly ailing Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief, were among those whose names were mentioned in the dossier India handed over to Pakistan last week, Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi said. In compliance, 44 under-observation members of the proscribed organisations, including Mufti Abdul Raoof and Hamad Azhar, have been taken in preventive detention for investigation.

Rauf and Hammad Azhar, close relatives of Masood Azhar of JeM, were among listed in the dossier sent by the Indian Government in connection with the Pulwama Attack.

It triggered a crisis with India that threatened to escalate into military conflict, and Delhi said it had carried out air strikes on a JeM training camp in response.

In an interview to CNN, Qureshi said, "He (Masood Azhar) is in Pakistan, according to my information".

Afridi insisted that the action was taken without any foreign pressure, the Pakistani media reported, but informed sources said that intense diplomatic pressure including from Pakistan's close allies had forced Islamabad to crack the whip.

JeM is designated a terror organisation by India and the United Nations, as well as the UK and the US.

In a crackdown against banned organizations, the government has taken at least 44 members in preventive detention for investigation. Similar actions by the neighbouring country against leaders of the proscribed outfits in the past turned out to be farce as those who were taken into custody were let off soon on different pretexts.

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In response to a question about JuD and FIF still being on the watch list, the Secretary assured that the ban will take effect within 24 hours and a notification will be issued by the interior ministry.

"We do not want Pakistan to pretend that they are taking steps, rather we want credible and verifiable action against terrorists and terrorist groups", sources said.

"These actions will continue, as per the decisions taken in National Security Committee (NSC) while reviewing NAP", concluded the ministry.

The fresh proposal to designate Azhar as global terrorist was moved last week by the US, UK and France and the Security Council Sanctions Committee will have 10 working days to consider it.

Interpreting the order, Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said the order means that the government has taken over the control of assets and properties of all banned outfits operating in the country.

The FATF in June previous year placed Pakistan onto its watch list in a bid to push the country to halt support for militant groups.