Pakistan Cracks Down on Jaish

Srinagar

Pakistan has finally started a crackdown on Jaish-e-Muhammad, the militant outfit that staked a claim for the car bomb explosion at Lethpora that killed more than 46 CRPF personnel. The crackdown followed the Delhi sending its dossier about the involvement of Jaish-e-Mohammad to Islamabad through diplomatic channels.

The attack sparked the crisis between the two nuclear-armed neighbours. India and Pakistan bombed each other’s territory in the aftermath of the attack and it took diplomacy a serious effort to prevent an escalation. Now Pakistan has arrested more than 40 activists of the outfit, reports appearing in media across the world said.

The activists who were taken in “preventive detention” for investigation, include the brother and son of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) leader Masood Azhar.

Addressing the media in Pakistan, the country’s Interior Secretary Azam Suleman Khan told the BBC that if investigators find “evidence against them, they will be proceeded against,” and if not they will be set free.

Reports quoting Pakistan officials reports said that arrests were not a result of any external pressure, though Indian officials have reacted with scepticism.

Earlier, the Lt Gen K S Dhillon of the 15 Corps Commander in Kashmir accused Pakistan of allowing militant groups to operate on its territory and said Pakistani security agencies played a role in the February 14 attack.

“In order to implement National Action Plan (NAP), a high-level meeting was held in the Ministry of Interior on March 4, attended by all representatives of all provincial governments,” said a statement by the ministry. “These actions will continue, as per the decisions are taken in the National Security Committee (NSC) while reviewing NAP.”

The interior ministry secretary further said: “If we have to take over any [organisation’s] assets, we will do so. Assets can be taken over of organisations already declared as prescribed, under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997,” Dawn reported.

“We cannot reveal any more names at this point. Those we were taken into preventive detention will be investigated, and if we learn more names along the way, those will be added accordingly,” media reports quoted Pakistan’s interior ministry secretary as saying.

Meanwhile, amid the escalating tensions between the two nuclear power countries, the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) has barred the private channels from airing Indian films and television shows in the country.

Pakistan media reported that three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmad heard the case pertaining to the telecast of Indian material on Pakistani channels.

The move came a week after Pakistan’s Information and Broadcasting Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said Pakistan film exhibitors association will be boycotting the Indian films following Indian air strikes in Pakistan. “The apex court has barred private channels from airing Indian material,” Radio Pakistan reported.

In a recent move by the Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government in Pakistan, the Punjab information minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan was removed from his post on Tuesday, media reports said. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Twitter account also confirmed the development.

“PTI Punjab government has removed Fayyaz Chohan from the post of Punjab Information Minister following derogatory remarks about the Hindu community,” the account tweeted. “Bashing someone’s faith should not be a part of any narrative. Tolerance is the first and foremost pillar on which Pakistan was built.”

In response to this, leaders of the different political parties slammed Punjab’s information minister for the derogatory remarks.

Commenting on it, the former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and National Conference (NC) vice president Omar Abdullah said that Pakistan sacked the minister for his remarks against Hindus but in India Governor isn’t even reprimanded for his public call to boycott & ostracise all Kashmiri Muslims.

“In Pakistan, a state minister is sacked for his remarks against Hindus. In India, a state Governor isn’t even reprimanded for his public call to boycott & ostracise all Kashmiri Muslims. We like to compare ourselves to Pakistan so compare this fact as well,” Omar tweeted.

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