JeM chief, Maulana Masood’s brother Rauf Asghar detained in Pakistan
New Delhi, Mar 05: Pakistan has detained Abdul Rauf Asghar, the brother of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief, Maulana Masood Azhar. Pakistan has also arrested 44 persons who are affiliated to the JeM.
The announcement was made by Shaharyar Afridi, Pakistan's interior minister at the press conference. The move comes in the wake of the international community stepping up pressure on Pakistan to act against the JeM and other terror groups.
India, it may be recalled had provided a detailed dossier to Pakistan in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack. India had mentioned the JeM chief and Asghar too in the dossier and also detailed their role in the Pulwama and other terror attacks.
The Pakistan minister, while denying that this action was taken following the Indian dossier, however added that if no evidence against them comes up, they would be released. He also said that the action was taken on the basis of a decision by the National Action Plan Committee.
Who is Rauf Asghar:
Rauf Asghar, the brother of Maulana Masoor Azhar who plotted the Khandahar hijack is the man behind the Pathankot, Uri and Pulwama strikes as well.
Rauf has been in the thick of the action for the JeM since the Kandahar hijack. A hardened militant who does not see beyond an anti India tirade, Rauf has been the backbone for Azhar.
He is systematic in his approach and extremely close to the Pakistan's ISI. He even had a role in plotting the assassination of Pakistan's former President, General Pervez Musharaff.
However following this failed plot on Musharaff, he had a falling out with the Pakistan army and the ISI. It was General Asfhaq Kayani who brought Rauf back to relevance after the latter struck a truce with the Paksitan army.
Following the release of Azhar, the JeM regrouped and shortly after that Rauf plotted and executed the brutal attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001. Rauf according to officials has a great command over the cadres. He has been backed by the Pakistan army for long and has over the years turned out to be their most important proxy.
In the year 2009, he was one the those summoned to Islamabad to help the Pakistani government negotiate with those who had taken 42 civilians hostage.