Pakistan arrest six JeM members on charges of terror funding

Vastavam web: Six members of the Masood Azhar-led Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) have been arrested for allegedly collecting funds for the proscribed terror group, amid a pressure from the global community on Pakistan to curb terror financing. The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of the Punjab Police said Wednesday it has intensified crackdown on terrorism financing and arrested six more JeM activists in Gujaranwala, about 130-km from here.

“The CTD teams raided the JeM’s ‘safe house’ and arrested Muhammad Afzal, Muhammad Amir, Allah Ditta, Muhammad Iftikhar, Muhammad Ajmal and Muhammad Bilal Makki, and recovered lakhs of rupees from their possession. “The suspects were collecting funds to finance the activities of JeM. Charge-sheets against them has been submitted to the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Gujranwala and they are being interrogated,” the CTD said in a statement.

Last week, six activists of the JeM and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) were arrested by the CTD from Gujranwala, Rawalpinid, Multan and Lahore for allegedly collecting funds to finance terrorism. On Monday, three terrorists belonging to the Islamic State (IS) and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) militant groups were arrested by the CTD officials in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

Sources, however, said the accused were not presented before the ATC. Also, the CTD did not seek their remand from the court or the magistrate. “The suspects have been shifted to undisclosed location for further interrogation,” the source added. Paris-based international terror financing watchdog FATF in June last year placed Pakistan onto its watch list in a bid to push the country to halt support for militant groups.

The Pakistan government have arrested over 100 members of banned outfits including JeM chief Azhar’s son and brother and also taken control of JeM, JuD and FIF’s properties including seminaries and mosques across the country. The crackdown came amid tensions with India following a suicide attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14 by the JeM that killed 40 CRPF soldiers. The Pakistan government has termed the action in accordance with the National Action Plan and meeting the obligations of the FATF.