Govt takes control of Jaish HQ in Bahawalpur, says Pakistan Interior Ministry
An interior ministry statement said the Pakistan’s Punjab government had taken over control of the campus comprising Madressatul Sabir and Jama-e-Masjid Subhanallah in Bahawalpur.Updated: Feb 23, 2019 00:17 IST
Pakistani authorities on Friday took over a complex in Punjab province that functioned as headquarters of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) against the backdrop of growing international pressure for action against the banned group that claimed the Pulwama terror attack.
Reports of the takeover came in after Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Bajwa visited the Line of Control (LoC) amid mounting tensions with India following the February 14 attack that killed 40 Indian troops.
“Pakistan is a peace-loving country but we will not be intimidated or coerced. Any aggression or misadventure shall be paid back in same coin,” Bajwa was quoted as saying in an army statement. Bajwa reviewed the state of preparedness along the LoC and lauded the morale of troops, chief military spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said.
The statement quoted an interior ministry spokesman as saying: “The government of Punjab has taken over the control of a campus comprising Madressatul Sabir and Jama-e-Masjid Subhanallah in Bahawalpur, reportedly the headquarters of Jaish-e-Mohammad, and appointed an administrator to manage its affairs.”
He said the action was in line with a decision made on Thursday at the National Security Committee meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, who had ordered action against banned groups.
The spokesman said the campus has a faculty of 70 teachers and 600 students. “The Punjab police is providing security and protection to the campus,” he added.
However, the statement was subsequently removed from the PID website. Another statement issued by the interior ministry spokesman said the complex is “purely a madrassah and jamia masjid (central mosque) where scores of orphans and students from underprivileged families” receive education.
The action came on a day when the Financial Action Task Force named JeM and Lashkar-e-Taiba among terror groups whose financing Pakistan has failed to curb. FATF condemned the Pulwama terror attack.
On Thursday, the UN Security Council named JeM in a resolution condemning the attack and called on all countries to cooperate with India to bring its perpetrators and sponsors to justice.
First Published: Feb 22, 2019 20:06 IST