Pakistan closes schools over attack on India's air base

Pakistani authorities shuts down several seminaries run by Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group accused of having connection to attack on airbase in India in January

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Masood Azhar, leader of Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group based in Pakistan

Several religious schools run by Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group were shut down by the Pakistani authorities in the Punjab province over accusations the group had a connection to an attack on an air base in India in January, the provincial law minister said on Friday.

The closing of the religious schools of Jaish-e-Mohammad - whose headquarter is based in Punjab, came after the arrests of several members of the militant group and its leader Masood Azhar, who is a long-term enemy of India.

The leader of the group, Azhar, had been taken into "protective custody," Sanaullah said in a TV interview. The Pakistani government will take legal action against Azhar if it is proved that he was involved in the Pathankot attack.

On Jan. 2 a militant group attacked an Indian air base in Pathankot killing 10 security officials. India accused the Pakistan-based militant group of carrying out the attack in which seven military personnel were killed.

"Officials of the Counter-Terrorism Department raided the Jamiatul Nur seminary in the Daska area on Thursday and arrested more than a dozen people," Rana Sanaullah, the law minister of the Punjab told Reuters.

"The seminary has been sealed off and documents and literature have been confiscated from the premises."

Other schools related to the militant group were shut down and many of the staff were arrested according to Sanaullah.

India requested for more action to be carried out against the group by Pakistan and announced on Thursday that foreign secretaries of the nuclear-armed rivals would schedule talks.

On 2001, Jaish-e-Mohammad was blamed for an attack on Indian parliament which caused a war between the two countries.

TRTWorld, Reuters