The Pakistan government claimed that it has intensified its crackdown against terror outfits with the government announcing it has taken control of 182 madrasas and detained more than 100 people. The announcement was made on Thursday, March 7, as part of its push against banned terror groups.
"Law enforcement agencies have taken 121 people under preventive detention as of today," Pakistan's interior ministry said in a statement, adding that religious schools, hospitals and ambulances were taken over.
The ministry said it was part of a long-planned drive, not a response to Indian anger over what New Delhi calls Islamabad's failure to rein in terror groups operating on Pakistani soil. Pakistan is facing immense global pressure to act against terror groups carrying out attacks in India, including Jaish-e-Mohammed or JeM, which claimed responsibility for the February 14 terror attack that killed at least 40 soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir.
What to do with madrassas is a thorny issue in Pakistan, a deeply conservative Muslim nation, where religious schools are often used for the radicalisation of youngsters to join terror outfits, but such schools are also the only option available to millions of poor children. Many banned terror groups such as JeM run such madrassas as a garb to radicalise young Pakistanis.
Pakistan on Wednesday took control of the assets belonging to Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawa and its wing Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation.
This development came amid a crackdown against militant groups this week amid growing international pressure in the wake of a bombing in Indian-controlled Kashmir by a militant group based in Pakistan. Islamabad denies aiding militants and says its push against banned outfits is unrelated to the Indian and global pressure.
(Inputs from agencies)