Big win for India as Pakistan bans Hafiz Saeed's Jamaat-ud-Dawa, may arrest Jaish chief Masood Azhar

Hafiz Saeed's Jamaat-ud-Dawa and its subsidiary Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation have been banned under Anti Terrorism Act 1997 by Pakistan's Interior Ministry.

New Delhi: Buckling under international pressure, Pakistan's Interior Ministry on Tuesday banned Hafiz Saeed's Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and its subsidiary Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FiF) under Anti Terrorism Act 1997.

"Hafiz Saeed's Jama'at-ud-Da'wah and its subsidiary Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation banned under Anti Terrorism Act 1997 by Pakistan's Interior Ministry," ANI reported.

JuD and FiF are controlled by Hafiz Saeed, who is the mastermind of 2008 Mumbai terror attack. Both these organisations are now placed in the list of 70 proscribed organisations released by Pakistan government on Tuesday. Both these organisations were placed in 'Under watch' list till 24 hours ago.

The decision to ban JuD and FiF is seen as a big victory for India's diplomatic efforts and stand taken by Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre to destroy Pakistan-based terror groups.

Earlier on Tuesday, Pakistan arrested Mufti Rauf Asghar, brother of JeM chief Masood Azhar and Hammad Azhar, son of Masood Azhar. State Minister for Interior Affairs Shahryar Afridi confirmed the development and said 44 people affiliated with the banned organization have been arrested so far.

The arrest of Rauf Asghar sends a clear message that Pakistan has buckled under India's pressure because Rauf is only next to Masood Azhar in Jaish's hierarchy.

The decision to crackdown on JeM was taken after Pakistan had assured the international community that it will take action against JeM and other terror groups operating from Pakistani soil. The names of Rauf and Hammad Azhar were also mentioned in the dossier given by India to Pakistan about February 14's Pulwama attack. 

Addressing a press conference, Shehryar Khan Afridi said a probe will be conducted against all arrested for two weeks to ascertain that they are involved in terror activities or not. He added that Pakistan government will share the initiatives with all key stakeholders, ANI reported. "It is our own initiative, we have not done this under any pressure," Afridi noted.

Sources added that Pakistan Interior Ministry has also suggested Prime Minister Imran Khan to arrest JeM chief Masood Azhar and it is expected that  Azhar would be arrested within 24 hours. 

On Monday, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had said that Islamabad is examining the dossier sent by India in connection with Pulwama terror attack.

In the dossier, India has asked Pakistan to take immediate and verifiable action against Masood Azhar and other terrorists operating from Pakistan's soil.

In the aftermath of Pulwama terror attack on February 14 that resulted in the deaths of 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan has been called out by US, France, UK, Australia, Japan, EU, Germany to take action against terrorism.

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