Forty four under-observation members of proscribed organisations, including Mufti Abdul Raoof and Hamad Azhar the brother and son of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) leader Masood Azhar, respectively have been taken in preventive detention for investigation, said officials of Ministry of Interior on Tuesday.
“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 taken in National Security Committee (NSC) while reviewing NAP.”
This was also confirmed by Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi and Ministry of Interior Secretary Azam Suleman Khan at a press conference on Tuesday.
“This is across the board we don’t want to give the impression that we are against one organisation,” said Khan while talking to the media.
He acknowledged that some people who have been detained including Raoof and Azhar are named in the dossier handed by India to Pakistan on the Pulwama attack. “It does not mean that action is being taken against only those individuals who are mentioned in the dossier.”
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 proscribed, under the Anti Terrorism Act, 1997.
“If we obtain any further evidence or if we have to investigate any organisation, the government can take any organisation into custody at any time.”
The secretary was also questioned by a reporter regarding the status of Jamaatud Dawa, which the reporter said was still “under a watch list” according to Indian media and not yet proscribed.
Furthermore, the reporter inquired as to why a notification was issued by the information ministry and not the interior ministry when the government’s decision to reinstate the ban on the organisation was announced following a National Security Council meeting on February 21.
The secretary chalked it down to paperwork and confirmed that the ban will take effect within 24 hours and a notification, this time, will be issued by the interior ministry.