An ultimatum has been given till January 18 for the arrest of Masood Azhar, the head of the global terrorist and banned terrorist organization Jaish-e-Mohammed, announced by the United Nations. A court official said on Saturday that the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Gujranwala has set a deadline for Azhar's arrest on Friday.
ATC Gujranwala issued a warrant for Azhar's arrest on Thursday during the hearing in the terror funding case. The case has been filed by the Punjab Police's Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD). According to the court official, ATC Judge Natasha Naseem Sapra asked the CTD to arrest Azhar by January 18 and present him in court during the hearing on Friday. The judge also said that in the event of no arrest, she would start the process of declaring Azhar as a criminal. Azhar is accused of selling jihadi literature in addition to terrorist funding.
Azhar is currently reported to be hiding in a 'safe house' in his native city Bahawalpur. However, the action against Azhar is seen as an exercise by Pakistan to pull out of the gray list of financial sanctions of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global terrorist funding watchdog, in which Pakistan has been named since June 2018. is present.
Masood Azhar is the mastermind of the 2019 attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama, Jammu, and Kashmir, killing 40 soldiers and a terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament in the year 2001. Apart from these two terror attacks, he is also wanted for many other incidents in India. He was taken to Kabul in 1999 after terrorists hijacked the Indian aircraft IC-814 and released it in exchange for passengers. It was only after his release that Azhar formed the Jaish-e-Mohammed and started conducting terrorist attacks in India. In May 2019, Azhar was declared a global terrorist by the United Nations. This step was taken after a decade of efforts by India.