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Pakistan government takes control of JeM headquarters

Jaish-e-Mohammed has claimed responsibility for the attack. Photograph:( AFP )

WION Islamabad, Pakistan Feb 22, 2019, 09.05 PM (IST) Written By: Anas Mallick , Sidhant Sibal

Less than twenty-four hours after Pakistan’s high-level security committee, the National Security Committee met, the Pakistan government through the provincial government of Punjab took over administrative control of Jaish-e-Mohammed's(JeM) two seminaries, said to be its headquarters in Bahawalpur in south Punjab.

The development comes in the backdrop of mounting international pressure on Pakistan to take decisive action against the JeM, a globally listed terror outfit that reportedly has its headquarters situated in Pakistan. 

JeM had taken responsibility of the Pulwama attack on CRPF that killed over 44 personnel on 14th February even as the global anti-terror funding watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force(FATF) called out Pakistan on its failure to curb terror financing.

FATF had earlier named the JeM, Lashkar-e-Taiba(LeT), Jamaat-ud-Dawa(JuD), Filah-e-Insaniyat Foundation(FIF) among few terrorist organizations against which Pakistan had failed to act.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan while making a policy statement on Tuesday had asked India to provide "actionable intelligence" in the Pulwama attack, he also offered a "joint investigation" in the matter.

India has rejected the moves taken by Pakistan in last 24 hours. Sources speaking to WION said, "Pakistan's scrambling to put together even this cosmetic response is evidence of the coordinated diplomatic campaign that India has undertaken across multiple capitals and in Delhi."

In the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack, India has upped the ante against Islamabad and has been briefing foreign envoys in Delhi and world capital's about Pakistan's involvement in the attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel. 

The Pakistani ministry of interior announced about the takeover in a formal statement that read, “Islamabad: Government of Punjab has taken over the control of a campus comprising Madressatul Sabir and Jama-e-Masjid Subhanallah in Bahawalpur."

It is reportedly the headquarters of JeM and appointed an administrator to manage its affairs. The statement further added “that the campus has a faculty of 70 teachers and currently 600 students were studying in it. The Punjab police has been providing security and protection to the campus”.

Pakistani authorities have maintained that the action was taken in line with the decision of the NSC meeting held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The move comes hours after the Pakistani authorities banned JuD and Filah-e-Insaniyat Foundation, charities run by globally designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed.

The spokesperson of Pakistan’s military wing Major General Asif Ghafoor while addressing a press conference on Friday in reply to WION’s question had said that these actions are being taken not because of any pressure but purely because it is in the interest of Pakistan.