Pak Places 121 Members Of Banned Outfits Into Preventive Detention


ISLAMABAD — A total of 121 members of the proscribed groups have so far been taken into “preventive detention” across Pakistan, the Interior Ministry announced Thursday.

The new figure of 121 came two days after the ministry said Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar’s son and brother were among 44 members of the banned militant outfits taken into “preventive detention”. 

Ministry of Interior Secretary Azam Suleman Khan said on Tuesday that Hamad Azhar and Mufti Abdul Raoof were among those detained. Hamad is the son of Masood Azhar while Raoof is his brother.

In a notification, the Interior Ministry said the provincial governments have taken over the management and administrative control of 182 madaris, 34 schools/ colleges as part of the National Action Plan (NAP) to combat terrorism.

The Ministry of Interior said law enforcement agencies had taken 121 people into preventive detention as of Thursday in compliance with the NAP, formulated after the terror attack on an army school in Peshawar in 2014 that killed nearly 150 people, mostly students. 

Provincial governments across Pakistan have also taken over five hospitals, 163 dispensaries, 184 ambulances and eight offices, Geo News quoted the notification as saying.

The operation against proscribed organisations is an ongoing process and continues under National Action Plan 2014. Interior Ministry is actively working in coordination with provincial governments and law enforcing agencies, it said.

The US last month asked Pakistan to “freeze without delay” the funds and other financial assets of the UNSC-designated terrorist networks and their leaders.

Pakistan is also under pressure from the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to deliver on its commitments to curb terror financing.

The FATF in June last year placed Pakistan onto its watch list in a bid to push the country to halt support for militant groups. 

Meanwhile, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the government has decided that it will decide on its larger strategy on how to act against proscribed organisations after discussing the matter with other parliamentary leaders.

Addressing a press conference, he said that the leaders of major parties will be taken into confidence on major decisions on banned organisations in the country.

Chaudhry said that a consensus had been built in the country in recent days in response to the “Indian aggression” and the government wanted this consensus to be sustained rather than see it break “over small things”.

He said that these were matters of national interest and the government wanted to move forward with the Opposition, similar to the way it had with various other institutions.

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