Terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar is likely to be arrested soon, according to Pakistan media reports. The reports added that Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to sign an order for his arrest on Tuesday. The reports came hours after the arrests of 44 members, including Azhar’s son and brother, of the banned terror groups by authorities in Pakistan amid mounting pressure from the global community on Islamabad to rein in the terror groups operating on its soil.
"We have taken 44 people in custody as part of crackdown on militant groups," Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi said at a press conference in Islamabad.
Ministry of Interior Secretary Azam Suleman Khan said Hammad Azhar and Mufti Abdur Rauf were among those arrested on Tuesday. Hammad is the son of Masood Azhar while Rauf is his brother.
Khan said a dossier shared by India with Pakistan last week also contained names of Rauf and Hammad.
"It does not mean that action is being taken against only those individuals who are mentioned in the dossier," he added.
The crackdown came amid tensions with India following a suicide attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district on February 14 by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group that killed 40 CRPF soldiers.
India last week handed over the dossier to Pakistan to take action against the JeM, as pressure mounted on Islamabad to take action against individual and organisation listed by the UN Security Council as terrorists.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi last week admitted that the JeM chief is in Pakistan and is "very unwell", but said the government can act against him only if India presents "solid" and "inalienable" evidence that can stand in a court of law.
"He is in Pakistan, according to my information. He is unwell to the extent that he can't leave his house, because he's really unwell," Qureshi told CNN in an interview.