Pakistani authorities have frozen bank accounts with more than Rs 400 million belonging to some 5,100 terror suspects, including Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar, according to a media report on Monday.
Among those whose accounts were frozen by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) are 1,200 suspects included in “category A” of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997, which covers terrorists who pose an exceptional or high risk.
The 5,100 suspects are all listed in the Fourth Schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997, The News daily quoted unnamed officials as saying. Azhar was included in “category A”, officials of the interior ministry and SBP said.
Azhar is believed to be in the “protective custody” of security agencies since India blamed the JeM for a terror attack on Pathankot airbase in January.
“Following a request of the ministry of interior, we have frozen accounts of all top suspected terrorists, including Masood Azhar, son of Allah Bux,” a senior official of SBP, who is part of a team monitoring the freezing of the bank accounts, told The News.
Ihsan Ghani, national coordinator of the National Counter-Terrorism Authority (NACTA), confirmed that more than 5,000 bank accounts of suspects had been frozen by the SBP. “These accounts hold a net amount worth Rs 400 million,” he said.
Official documents showed the authorities had blocked the bank accounts of 3,078 suspects from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the tribal areas, 1,443 from Punjab, 226 from Sindh, 193 from Balochistan, 106 from Gilgit-Baltistan, 27 from the Islamabad Capital Territory and 26 from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Prominent suspects whose accounts were frozen include Maulana Abdul Aziz of Islamabad’s radical Lal Masjid, Ahmed Ludhianvi of the Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat, Matiur Rehman of al-Qaeda Pakistan, Qari Ehsan of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.