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Pak Detains 44 Militants Including JeM Chief Masood Azhar's Brother Abdul Rauf Asghar

HARSH RANJAN | 0
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| March 5 , 2019 , 18:48 IST

Pakistan authorities on Tuesday claimed that it has arrested 44 persons affiliated with multiple banned terrorist organisations including Jaish-e-Mohammad chief  Masood Azhar’s brother Abdul Rauf Asghar and Hammad Azhar, who is Masood Azhar's relative. Both are in protective custody.

The news was announced by Pakistan Interior minister Shaharyar Afridi in a press conference. The move comes after Pakistan had assured the international community that it will take strict action against terror.

The order for their detention was issued on Tuesday, a day after a high-level meeting took place in Pakistan’s Ministry of Interior on March 4 (Monday) to review the National Action Plan (NAP) and which was attended by all provincial governments.

Pakistani officials insisted this was not done under pressure from India but was based on the decision taken by the National Action Plan committee. Pakistan assured the action would be taken against all proscribed organizations.

Pakistan has said their names were in the dossier given by India to Pakistan.

Pakistani interior ministry secretary said, "if no evidence is brought up against them, they will be released."

According to interior minister Shaharyar Afridi, the terrorists have been detained for a period of two weeks.

Addressing a press conference, the Pakistan Interior minister Shahryar Afridi refused to divulge the names of the detained individuals.

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He said that "the detained people will be investigated and if they are found involved in any terror activities, they will be charged and placed under arrest, the crackdown, announced on March 4, will continue for two weeks."

"If there is proof of their complicity in any terror activities, the Pakistan government holds the right to seize the assets of the banned groups," he added.