New Delhi: Succumbing to intense international pressure to rein in militant groups operating from its soil, the Pakistan government on Friday took over the administrative control of the headquarters of terror-outfit Jaish-e-Muhammad, which claimed the February 14 Pulwama terror attack.
"The Government of Punjab has taken over the control of a campus comprising Madressatul Sabir and Jama-e-Masjid Subhanallah in Bahawalpur," spokesman of Pakistan's Interior Ministry told PTI. "The action was taken in line with the decision of the National Security Committee meeting held yesterday under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Imran Khan," the official said.
Bahawalpur is 400 km from Lahore.
The move came a day after the powerful UN Security Council comprising 15 nations, including Pakistan's key ally China, named JeM in a statement
The JeM campus currently has a faculty of 70 teachers and 600 students with the spokesperson adding that Pakistan's Punjab Police will be providing 'security and protection to the campus'.
On Thursday, Pakistan had banned the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led Jamat-ud-Dawa and its charity wing Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation.
India has rejected the moves taken by Pakistan in last 24 hours. "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," sources said.
In the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack, India has up 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.
And even as action was taken on JeM, Pak army continued the denial mode and with Director-General, Inter-Services Public Relations(ISPR), the media wing of Pakistan Armed Forces Asif Ghafoor saying "what benefit would Pakistan get from its involvement in the Pulwama attack?" given the fact number of events were underway in the country like Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Kartarpur talks, Afghan Peace process etc.
He said the explosives used in the attack were not from Pakistan nor the vehicle used in the attack was from the country but did not mention JeM taking responsibility for the attack.
On the current hostile environment between the 2 nuclear-armed neighbours, Ghafoor said, "We do not wish to go into war, but please rest assured that should you initiate any aggression ─ first, you will never be able to surprise us. Pakistan armed forces will never be surprised by you. But let me assure you, we shall surprise you."
Adding, "We can respond to the full-spectrum threat.I hope you get this message and don't mess with Pakistan."
DG ISPR also lashed out at Indian Media saying they are doing "War Journalism" while lauding Pakistani Media saying they are doing "Peace Journalism".
Meanwhile, Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Line of control (LoC) at Chirikot and Bagsar Sectors and while interacting with the troops said, "any misadventure will be paid back in same coin."