Pakistan continues to shelter terrorist groups, with renewed fervour after exiting the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) grey list earlier this year.
A report by the well known newspaper The Print says that soon after Pakistan exited the ‘grey list’ of the FATF – terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) began a large-scale construction work near its headquarter in Bahawalpur.
The Print, citing maps, videos and photographs, said the area was acquired by the terrorist group in 2022 itself and it houses a seminary that teaches several hundred children. The process of acquisition of the land began in 2008.
The purchaser of the land is Abdul Rauf Asghar aka Abdul Rauf Azhar aka Rauf Ashgar. Abdul Rauf Azhar, is currently the deputy chief of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), but escaped the global terrorist tag after China placed a technical hold on the proposal in August against a India and the US joint bid.
Pakistani authorities have consistently claimed that the seminary has no link with the terrorist group that plotted and carried out the Pulwama blast in 2019 and the attacks on the Indian Parliament in 2001 and was also the main orchestrator of the attacks on Pathankot Air Base in 2016. The JeM also claimed responsibility for killing three police personnel near Srinagar’s Pantha Chowk in December 2021.
Pakistan has arrested 26/11 perpetrator Sajid Mir, urged the Taliban to locate Masood Azhar and also arrested several members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba on terrorism-related charges. These were measures undertaken to exit the FATF list and were taken ahead of the FATF team’s visit to Pakistan in August.
However, a separate report by local media said that Mir is in custody of the Pakistani deep state in a guest house.
The report in Print further said that JeM maintains eight training camps in Nangarhar of which eight remain in control of the Taliban.