LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan on Thursday issued an arrest warrant for banned Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar on the charges of terror financing.
The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Gujranwala issued the warrant during a hearing in a terror financing case instituted by the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of Punjab police against some members of the JeM.
“ATC Gujranwala judge Natasha Naseem Supra issued an arrest warrant for Masood Azhar and directed the CTD to arrest him and present him in the court. The CTD told the judge the JeM chief was involved in terror financing and selling jihadi literature,” an official told .
He said the ATC judge issued the arrest warrant for Azhar on the request of a CTD inspector. Azhar is believed to be hiding in a “safe place” in his native town – Bahawalpur.
The CTD said its teams raided the whereabouts of the JeM’s “safe house” and arrested its members 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 activities of JeM. The charge sheet against them has been submitted to the Anti-Terrorism Court Gujranwala and they are being interrogated,” the CTD said.
Following immense international pressure after the Pulwama attack, the Pakistan government had arrested over 100 members of banned militant outfits including the JeM chief’s son and brother. The government also took control of the JeM, Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawah (uD) and Falahe Insaniat Foundation (FIF) properties including seminaries and mosques across the country.