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Pakistan: 'Masood Azhar not to be arrested or detained'

Pakistan: 'Masood Azhar not to be arrested or detained'

Islamabad, Mar 15 (UNI) Pakistan Government has decided not to arrest or detain Maulana Masood Azhar, Amir of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) "without any valid evidence" for his alleged involvement in the Pulwama attack, highly placed sources directly linked with the issue revealed to The News.

“Why should we arrest or detain Maulana Masood Azhar without any crime or evidence of his involvement in any crime?” a key official questioned in return when asked about decision to arrest defunct JeM chief.

Indian government in its dossier handed over to acting Pakistani High Commissioner on February 27 had alleged JeM and its about 22 activists including Maulana Masood Azhar of plotting Pulwama attack in Indian Held Jammu and Kashmir causing deaths of almost 40 personnel’s of Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

The sources claim that Interior Ministry along with other stakeholders including officials of law enforcement agencies have closely reviewed the draft of the two-page dossier and has concluded that it carries no tangible evidence of Pakistanis’ involvement in the attack.

The sources claim that the dossier dispatched by India used word, “supposedly” for the role of almost 22 activists of defunct organisation. The sources claim that draft of the dossier itself was an evidence that Indian government has had no evidence of blaming Pakistan for the said attack.

The sources claim that dossier also carried the name of defunct JeM founding chief Maulana Masood Azhar, his brother Mufti Abdur Rauf and his son Hamad Azhar (the real name of Hamad Azhar is Umar Masood Azhar).

The sources claim that the authorities decided to take action against those whose names had already been placed on the 4th scheduled of Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of 1997. ATA 4th scheduled is specified for the suspected militants and somebody placed on this list faces certain sanctions including one that he cannot leave the jurisdiction of the relevant police station without the permission of its Station House Officer (SHO).

The sources claim that the names provided in the dossier were compared with the lists of 4th schedule of the ATA and all those including brother and son of Maulana Masood Azhar were detained who were already in the said list. They were taken into custody for 30 days under section 3 of Maintenance of Public Order. The sources claim that the relevant law-enforcement agencies are also questioning these guys under detention.

They also add that federal and provincial authorities also took strict action against the JeM activists without any prejudice. The official sources claim that name of Maulana Masood Azhar is neither in the list of suspected militants or 4th schedule of ATA nor he is ever charged for his involvement in any crime in Pakistan.

UNi XC-SNU 1233

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