Same old story: India on Pakistan arresting Masood Azhar’s brother, 43 Jaish members

Minister of State for the Interior Sheryar Khan Afridi was quoted as saying that the names of Mufti Abdul Rauf and Hammad Azhar were mentioned in a dossier shared by India last week.

Published: 06th March 2019 03:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th March 2019 03:14 PM   |  A+A-

Masood Azhar

Jaish-e-Mohammed founder Maulana Masood Azhar (File | AFP)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: New Delhi on Tuesday expressed scepticism over reports that Pakistan was cracking down on terrorist outfits and that Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar’s brother Mufti Abdul Rauf was among 44 members of banned outfits who were taken into ‘preventive detention.’

A day after promulgating a law which apparently allowed the government to take over all assets of banned outfits operating in the country, the Pakistan government said, “It was decided to speed up action against all proscribed organisations, and in compliance, 44 under-observation members of proscribed organisations, including Mufti Abdul Rauf and Hammad Azhar, have been taken in preventive detention for investigation.”

Minister of State for the Interior Sheryar Khan Afridi was quoted as saying that the names of Mufti Abdul Rauf and Hammad Azhar were mentioned in a dossier shared by India last week.

However, describing Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s repeated claim that Pakistan would not allow terrorists to operate from its soil as “old wine in a new bottle,” Indian sources said,

“These are words we have heard several times. We have exactly the same statement by President Pervez Musharraf in January 2004. Our effort now will be to see demonstrable action. Pakistan is trying to divert attention from our concern over terrorism to their concern over a so-called threat from India.” A source further warned that “all options were on the table” in case of another terrorist attack.

Warning that “all options were on the table” in case there was another terrorist attack, a source said: “If there is a naya Pakistan with a naya soch, we expect to see action on the ground. There is still a discrepancy between what they are saying and doing. Mere statements from various sources saying that the Pakistan army has done its bit and that the civilian government has not is not enough.”

For instance, “there was the strange phenomenon yesterday of the Pakistan ambassador to the US, while talking at the Institute for Peace,  claiming that there is no organized terror group in Pakistan. This is at variance with their own listings, starting with the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and going down, of terror groups in Pakistan.”

“While we are being told that hard action is being taken against the JuD and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation, all that has been done is that they are only on the watchlist. The objective of the Pakistan government is to pretend to the international community that it is taking steps,” the source said.

Contending that “Pakistan is trying to deflect attention by issuing various statements suggesting that India still continues to threaten Pakistan militarily,” a source said.

“For instance this morning they said they would soon release a video of a second Indian aircraft, a Sukhoi 30, which they had apparently downed on February 27. I can categorically say that all Sukhoi 30 aircraft in the Indian inventory are fully accounted for.”

Why it's a joke

  • Lashkar-e-Toiba founder Hafiz Saeed placed under house arrest on Jan 31, 2017; released on Lahore High Court's orders on Nov 22, 2017.

  • Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar placed under house arrest on Dec 9, 2008, after 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai; moved to another secure location on Jan 3, 2009; freed later.

  • After the attack on army camp in Uri, Azhar taken into ‘protective custody’ on Sept 2016; resurfaces and addresses supporters on July 2017.

  • US State Department labels Jaish-e-Mohammed a terrorist outfit in 2001; Pak bans LeT in 2002, but both still function with impunity.

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