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Pak action on JeM, old wine in new bottle

By Anuj Cariappa

New Delhi, Mar 06: Indian security agencies were unmoved by reports of arrest of 44 members of the Jaish-e-Mohammad in Pakistan, with officials saying the terrorists were not arrested under the anti-terrorism laws but have only been taken in "preventive detention for investigation".

Maulana Masood Azhar

Similar actions by the neighbouring country against leaders of the proscribed outfits in the past turned out to be farce as those who were taken into custody were let off soon on different pretexts.

JeM chief, Maulana Masood's brother Rauf Asghar detained in Pakistan

The 44 members of the JeM, including its founder Masood Azhar's brother Mufti Abdul Raoof, were said to have been taken in "preventive detention for investigation" and have not been arrested under Pakistan's anti-terrorism law, a security official said.

There is every possibility that the detention could also be an attempt by the Pakistan Army to provide security to these terrorists, given the "fear psychosis" that has gripped Pakistan in the past few days following the Indian Air Force strike at Balakot, the official said.

The assessment of the security agencies came in view of the fact that founders of Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba - Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed respectively - were detained several times in the past, mostly under laws that provide for detention for apprehension of "breach of peace".

ISI colonel, Salim Qari, JeM trainer Maulana Moeen among those killed in Balakot strike

Azhar and Saeed have never been prosecuted under the Pakistan's Anti Terrorism Act, 1997, another official said. According to the reports received from Pakistan, the action against JeM came in order to implement the National Action Plan of Pakistan, amid mounting pressure from the global community on Islamabad to rein in the terror groups operating from its soil.

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