ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Saturday rejected reports that a madrassa in Bahawalpur is allegedly the headquarters of militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).
He said this in a public statement shared on his Twitter handle.
بہاولپور میں مدرسے کو تحویل میں لیے جانے کے حوالے سے وفاقی وزیر اطلاعات @fawadchaudhry کا بیان
پنجاب حکومت کل میڈیا نمائندوں کو اس مدرسے کا دورہ کروائے گی
— Fawad Chaudhry (@FawadPTIUpdates) February 22, 2019
Fawad Chaudhry said that the Punjab government has taken the administrative charge of the madrassa and accused India of “leveling baseless allegations contrary to reality” in the matter.
He said more than 700 students were studying at the madrassa and the National Action Plan (NAP) is being implemented with the consent of all the parties.
The madrassa has nothing to do with the activities in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), he added. Moreover, he added that after the National Security Committee (NSC) meeting, the government has decided to implement the NAP in letter and spirit.
“NAP is our own security document over which all political parties are in consensus and we are implementing it,” he emphasised.
The info minister shared the Punjab government plans to take a delegation of journalists to the madrassa so that they could “analyze the facts themselves”.
As part of the NAP, the Punjab government took control of the madrassa and mosque in Bahawalpur which was allegedly being used as the headquarters of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) but no controversial material was found during the checking as only religious teachings were being imparted there.
The move came a day after the National Security Committee (NSC) decided that efforts would be expedited to rout extremism from the society. JeM had purportedly claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on Indian security forces in the Indian-occupied Kashmir earlier this month, killing at least 44 paramilitary soldiers.
“The government of Punjab has taken over the control of a campus comprising Madrassatul Sabir and Jamia-e-Masjid Subhanallah in Bahawalpur, reportedly the headquarters of Jaish-e-Mohammad and appointed an administrator to manage its affairs,” said the Punjab Home Department’s spokesman in a statement.
The spokesman said that action was taken in line with the decision of the NSC meeting held on Thursday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Imran Khan. According to the spokesperson, currently, 600 students are studying at the campus, which has a faculty of 70 teachers. The Punjab police are providing security and protection to the campus, he added.
NSC also decided to ban Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) charities which India alleges are front for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group which, according to New Delhi, had carried out the 2008 Mumbai attacks.