Pakistan freezes bank accounts of Jaish chief Masood Azhar and 5,100 other terror suspects

Pakistani authourities put JeM chief Masood Azhar under 'protective custody' after terrorists attacked Pathankot air base. Photograph:( AFP )

WION Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory, Pakistan Oct 24, 2016, 08.54 PM (IST)

In a crack down on terror financing, Pakistan's central bank, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Monday froze bank accounts of over 5,100 terror suspects in the country, including that of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar, The News reported.

The Pakistan interior ministry provided three different lists naming thousands of suspects, including kingpins of some outlawed organisations to the central bank. 

The blockade by the Pakistani authorities will off cut major funding for the terror organisations as the bank accounts held net amount worth Rs 400 million.

Masood Azhar, currently under "protective custody", was included in the category 'A' list of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, which enlists high risk terrorists, said a senior official of the bank, who is also part of the team monitoring the progress on the decision. 

"It happened since the government put the JeM chief under 'protective custody' of security agencies after terrorists attacked the Pathankot air base," the officials said.

Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists were suspected of carrying out the attack on the Pathankot air base in India in January, following which new Delhi had written to the United Nations calling for immediate action to list the group's chief, Azhar under the UN Sanctions Committee. 

The country's National Counter-terrorism Authority (Nacta) had sent around 5,500 names to the SBP earlier this month, they said. The national coordinator of the agency, Ihsan Ghani confirmed that over 5,000 accounts had been frozen and said he would release details of Azhar's accounts later this week. 

(WION with inputs from PTI)