Pakistan continues crackdown on Mumbai Attackers, Terror Chief house arrested
Acting under intense pressure from its War on Terror ally America, Pakistani authorities have continued crackdown against Islamic terrorists and have raided camps and made several arrests. Now raid have spawned from Pakistan held Kashmir to other areas as well.
The Pakistani government launched on Monday a countrywide crackdown on the banned jihadi outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba and charity organisation Jamaatud Dawa. Over two dozen people, including top Lashkar commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi wanted by India in connection with the Mumbai carnage, have been arrested.
In a clear attempt to pacify USA and meet India's demand, Pakistan has taken strongest ever action against the two outfits.
Apart from cracking down militants camps in Kashmir, Pakistani officials have also sealed offices of these two organisation in other part of Pakistan.
Pakistani authorities have reportedly imposed restrictions on the movement of outlawed Jaish-e-Mohammed founder Maulana Masood Azhar and confined him to his home despite turning down India's demand for handing him over. He is wanted by India for waging a war against India.
The Pakistani authorities have placed restrictions on the movement of Maulana Masood Azhar, the chief of the outlawed Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), by confining him to his multi-storeyed concrete compound in the Model Town area of Bahawalpur.
Well-placed official sources say Masood Azhar’s activities have been restricted in the wake of the Indian government’s recent demand to hand him over to New Delhi.
Adviser on Interior Rehman Malik said in Islamabad last week that India has given to Pakistan a list of three persons—Maulana Masood Azhar, Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon—for their immediate extradition.
Official sources say India has sought the arrest and extradition of Masood Azhar while citing a 1989 agreement signed by the director-general of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the director-general of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) which binds both the agencies to collaborate with each other, to trace out the most wanted terrorists and criminals and hand them over to their respective counterpart.
Maulana Masood Azhar is wanted by the Indian CBI for his alleged involvement in the 2001 attacks on Indian parliament which brought the two nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours to the brink of war. As a matter of fact, it is not for the first time that his movements have been restricted by the Pakistani authorities. Every time the Indian government demands his extradition, he is confined to his under-construction headquarters in Bahawalpur. Azhar had been serving time in an Indian jail for Kashmir-related militancy but had to be released by the Indian government in 2000 in exchange for passengers of an Indian airplane which had been hijacked by some Kashmiri militants and taken to Kabul. Soon after his release, he discarded the Harkatul Mujahideen (HuM) to launch the Jaish-e-Mohammad.
Since then, having gone through many ups and downs, especially in the wake of the 2001 attack on the Indian parliament and the 2003 suicide attacks on Gen Musharraf in Rawalpindi, the Jaish had been renamed as Khudamul Islam (KuI) and reorganised under the command of Mufti Abdul Rauf, the younger brother of Masood Azhar. The State Department had designated the Jaish as a foreign terrorist organisation in December 2001, making the Musharraf regime slap a ban on the outfit in January 2002. December 29, 2001 was the only time Masood Azhar was formally arrested by the Pakistani authorities following the parliament attacks. However, a three-member review board of the Lahore High Court ordered his release on Dec 14, 2002.
The second time he had to face the wrath of the establishment was in 2003 in the aftermath of the Rawalpindi suicide attacks on Musharraf, after it transpired that Mohammad Jamil, one of the two suicide attackers who tried to assassinate the first commando president of Pakistan, belonged to the Jaish. However, Masood tried to clear his position by maintaining that the bomber had already defected to the Jaish’s dissident group—Jamaatul Furqaan, led by Maulana Abdul Jabbar alias Maulana Umar Farooq. However, the Maulana from Bahawalpur soon fell out of favour with the establishment in the wake of American allegations about his al-Qaeda links and because of the US belief that he, along with some other Jihadi leaders, had been providing logistical support to fugitive al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders.