Lahore: Outlawed Jamaat-ud-Dawa’s top leader and Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed’s brother-in-law Hafiz Abdur Rehman Makki has been arrested for hate speech and criticising the Pakistan government, police said on Wednesday.
Makki, head of JuD’s political and international affairs wing and in-charge of its charity Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), was arrested during a government crackdown against the outlawed organisations.
Punjab police spokesperson Nabila Ghazanfar confirmed Makki’s arrest. She, however, did not explain the charges under which he was arrested.
Sources said Makki has been arrested for making a hate speech in Gujranwala city, some 80-km from Lahore.
The sources also said his arrest should be seen in connection with the government’s steps to comply with the requirement of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
The US Department of the Treasury has designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, and the US, since 2012, has offered a USD 10 million reward for information that brings him to justice.
Saeed is keeping a low profile and currently living at his Lahore residence under high security. For the first time in two decades, Saeed was not allowed to enter and deliver weekly sermon at JuD headquarters in Lahore since early this March.
The JuD and its sister organization Falah-i-Insaniat (FIF) leadership has already gone underground in the wake of the government’s action against the proscribed organizations.
In February, Paris-based international terror financing watchdog FATF decided to continue the ‘Grey’ listing of Pakistan for its failure to stop funding of terrorist groups such as the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the JuD.
JeM chief Hafiz Saeed’s brother-in-law Abdur Rehman Makki arrested in Pak:
The Pakistan government has launched a crackdown against the outlawed organisations under the National Action Plan 2015 to eliminate militancy and extremism from the country’s soil.
The Pakistan government had arrested over 100 members of banned outfits including the Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar’s son and brother and taken control of JeM, JuD and FIF properties including seminaries and mosques across the country apparently under immense international pressure.
The government termed the action in accordance with the National Action Plan and meeting the obligations of the Financial Action Task Force.
The Imran Khan-led government has also announced the freezing of accounts and seizure of assets linked to organisations banned by the UN Security Council.
The government banned 11 organisations for having links with the proscribed outifts JuD, FIF and JeM on Saturday.
After the February 14 Pulwama terror attack, in which 40 Indian security personnel were killed by a suicide bomber of the Pakistan-based JeM, prime minister Khan had said Islamabad would not spare any group involved in militancy or using Pakistani soil for any kind of terror activity against other countries.
The FIF, like the JuD, was also banned in March by the Pakistan government. Recently, the government announced to take control of more than 30,000 religious seminaries.
The JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the LeT which is responsible for carrying out the Mumbai attack that killed 166 people. It had been declared as a foreign terrorist organisation by the US in June 2014.
IAF An-32 goes missing in northeast, no trace of wreckage
An Indian Air Force (IAF) An-32 transporter with 13 people on board went missing while flying from Assam to Arunachal Pradesh on Monday but there was no trace of the plane or its wreckage despite many hours of search.
The aircraft with 13 on board (eight aircrew and five passengers) had taken off from Assam’s Jorhat at 12.27 p.m. for Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh’s West Siang district bordering China, but it lost contact with ground authorities at around 1 p.m.
The IAF flew sorties of its C-130 Super Hercules, An-32s and two Mi-17 helicopters along with Indian Army’s Advanced Light Helicopters to locate the missing aircraft. Several leads from the ground about the possible location of the crash site were followed but no wreckage was found.
The IAF said in a statement that search operations will continue from air and by ground parties of Indian Army through the night.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who was on his first visit to Jammu and Kashmir after taking over two days ago, spoke to IAF vice chief, Air Marshal Rakesh Singh Bhadauria and took stock of rescue operations. IAF chief B.S Dhanoa was to be in Sweden on a four-day visit.
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu tweeted: “Praying for safety of all 13 persons who were on board.”
The Deputy Commissioner of newly-created Shi Yomi district in Arunachal, Mito Dirchi, said there were some reports of a crash in the jungles of the district.
“We have sent a team for search which includes SP and some villagers. But we have not found any wreckage. We are going to search the areas tomorrow morning again.”
The disappearance of the An-32 on Monday is eerily similar to the incident that took place in the same month 10 years ago in the same location involving the same type of aircraft and same number of personnel. The aircraft that crashed on June 9, 2009 was also operating in the same area with 13 on board. The wreckage was found days later over the Rinchi Hill above Hyeo village, about 60 km from the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Among the 13 personnel on board in the latest incident, six are IAF officers including a wing commander. The terrain and weather conditions in the area makes flying challenging and familiarization sorties are carried out routinely along with air maintenance operations for the border troops.
The IAF has around 100 An-32s and the fleet has been undergoing upgradation, adding new avionics and other features.
This is the second major incident after the disappearance of an An-32 over the Bay of Bengal in 2016 with 29 on board. The mystery behind the accident could never be solved as the massive search over sea was called off after no trace of wreckage was found. The flight was on the way to Port Blair from Chennai.