Pakistan has released JeM chief Masood Azhar from preventive custody, says report; move comes ahead of Islamabad's meeting with FATF

  • A ten-member team from Pakistan also reached Bangkok in Thailand on Monday morning for the meeting with FATF officials, reports also said

  • The Imran Khan-led country is to provide proof to the terror watchdog of compliance on 20-odd points to show that terror financing is being tackled and curbed

  • If it fails to do so, Pakistan risks being blacklisted by the global organisation

Pakistan is speculated to have released terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad's chief Maulana Masood Azhar from preventive custody. Ahead of the crucial meeting between Pakistan and Financial Action Task Force (FATF) officials on Monday, reports said that Azhar, who has been listed as a global terrorist by the United Nations, has been released.

 Pakistan has released JeM chief Masood Azhar from preventive custody, says report; move comes ahead of Islamabads meeting with FATF

File photo of Masood Azhar. AFP

The move comes as tensions are high between India and Pakistan after the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir on 5 August, a decision that Islamabad has criticised on several platforms and New Delhi has maintained is an internal matter.

Hindustan Times reported that officials of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) have informed the Centre regarding the "deployment of additional Pakistani troopers along the India-Pakistan border near Rajasthan and that Islamabad is planning 'a big action' in the Sialkot-Jammu and Rajasthan sectors", in addition to releasing Azhar from custody.

"The input has been conveyed to the respective Border Security Force and army field formations in Jammu and Rajasthan sectors “to avoid any surprises” from the Pakistani army and the troops have been asked to remain alert," the report also quoted two government officials as saying.

News18 also reported that the Indian Navy had issued a warning that an "underwater wing" of JeM was "training people to carry out attacks".

The report quoted Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh as saying that "all stakeholders in coastal security are ensuring that there is no intrusion from the sea. "We have received intelligence (input) that an underwater wing of Jaish-e-Mohammed is training people to carry out attacks from water and that is one change. "But we are fully prepared and will thwart any such attempt," he added.

The Ministry of Home Affairs had also recently declared Azhar as a terrorist under the amended the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

A 10-member team from Pakistan also reached Bangkok in Thailand on Monday morning for the meeting with FATF officials, India Today reported. The Imran Khan-led country is to provide proof to the terror watchdog of compliance on 20-odd points to show that terror financing is being tackled and curbed. If it fails to do so, Pakistan risks being blacklisted by the global organisation.

The report also said that FATF was "unhappy" with Pakistan for not taking "decisive" action against terror financing by outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba and other terrorist groups. While it has reportedly complied on 8-10 points, a majority of the conditions are yet to be fulfilled.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Sep 09, 2019 11:03:41 IST