Property data nail Pakistani lie on Jaish-e-Mohammed HQ in Bahawalpur, finds Firstpost investigation

Property data of a sprawling seminary stated to be the headquarters of the Jaish-e-Mohammed, a claim denied via Pakistan in latest days, does indeed belong to the the world over proscribed terrorist institution, an investigation with the aid of Firstpost has determined. The facts additionally establish that the assets turned into bought regardless of the agency being subjected to both Pakistani and global sanctions.

Following the Indian Air Force strike on a jihadi education facility in Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province on 27 February, the Bahawalpur headquarters is the focus of Indian and global efforts to push Pakistan to shut down JeM. Indian intelligence checks advocate the strike can also have killed up to twenty terrorists, such as three former Pakistan Army trainers. Intelligence resources informed Firstpost there had been only 5 confirmed kills, primarily based on burials recorded via intelligence property inside the area.

Speaking at a JeM rally in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on 28 February, JeM founder Masood Azhar’s brother, Abdul Rauf Rasheed Alvi, better called Rauf, confirmed that India had attacked “our headquarters”, and vowed revenge. He did now not, but, mention casualties. In 2009, simply months after the Mumbai assaults of 26 November, 2008, Rauf arrived at a small authorities workplace in Bahawalpur to register the acquisition of 9 acres and one kanal of farmland off the Bahawalpur-Karachi toll road.

For a said value of one.5 million Pakistani rupees (~Rs 7.6 lakh), a local, Ahmad Nayeem, offered the belongings to Rauf and his companion, Rashid Ahmed, on 23 March of that 12 months, documents acquired via Firstpost show. The belongings has now grown into a sprawling JeM facility on the outskirts of the city, which the agency’s propaganda material says has area for 12,000 college students, sports activities facilities and prayer regions.

Following the suicide-bomb assault on the Central Reserve Police Force in Pulwama, Pakistan had announced that it turned into taking on management of the Jama-e-Masjid Subhanallah in Bahawalpur, at the side of the Sabir seminary — both parts of the complex.

But, only a day later, Bahawalpur deputy commissioner Shahzaib Saeed advised a group of touring newshounds it changed into only a “habitual seminary having no links with the Jaish-e-Mohammed… Some six hundred college students are analyzing here and none of them is related to any banned employer or worried in any terror activity”.

Pakistan’s facts and broadcasting minister Fawad Chaudhry joined him in denial. “This is a seminary and India is doing propaganda that it is the JeM headquarters,” the minister stated.

From the files, although, it’s far clean the Pakistan government turned into being cost effective with records. Rauf, the owner of the belongings, changed into sanctioned by way of the US treasury branch in 2010 for his function in “deadly assaults in opposition to harmless civilians in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India”.

Perhaps more vital, Rauf turned into identified with the aid of the JeM’s in-house journal al-Qalam as “General of the Jaish-e-Mohammed” in its nine February, 2017 difficulty. The mag said Rauf had addressed a mosque gathering within the Gumtala village, telling it that “Islam is a international electricity and can not be destroyed”. He went on, “Jihad is the maximum essential responsibility of our religion”.

In an attempt to position area between its military social operations, the enterprise had in 2010 given jihad veteran Maulana Ghulam Murtaza the fee of reviving the al-Rahmat accept as true with, once run by using Allah Baksh, Azhar’s father. That 12 months, a JeM-affiliated booklet said the trust changed into paying pensions to the households of at least 850 jihadists killed or imprisoned in India as well as in different international locations

In 2016, pictures confirmed young men in Karachi amassing price range from congregants for the al-Rahmat believe, announcing it become for “the brave younger men of the JeM who’re combating for the victory of the name of god and Islam”. Pakistan’s National Counter-Terrorism Authority states on its internet site that the enterprise was proscribed on 14 January, 2002, which leaves open the question of the way Rauf changed into capable of gather the price range needed to purchase the land on which the Bahawalpur seminary flourished.

Perched at the Mansehra-Balakote avenue, above the village of Jaba, a brilliant-pink arrow on pinnacle of a blue signboard points closer to the mountains: “Madrasa Taleem ul-Quran (seminary for schooling within the Quran),” it reads.

The small lettering at the bottom tells passers-by way of the institution runs beneath the sarparasti, or guardianship, of Maulana Masood Azhar. His brother-in-law, Muhammad Yusuf Azhar, is diagnosed because the executive in-price. Phone numbers are supplied as properly.

Bahawalpur-based totally sources told Firspost at the least two JeM volunteers from the headquarters, who left to teach at Balakote early in February, could not be contacted by their families after the air strike.

In Bahawalpur and other major Pakistani towns, JeM operations are underway, untouched via the unfolding India-Pakistan crisis. In Karachi, there were “astounding gatherings at two locations, where loads of volunteers assembled to find out about the realities of jihad,” says al-Qalam.

The JeM’s district-in-price, Rana Shahid, led comparable gatherings in Bahawalpur, inside the name of the emir-ul-mujahideen (prince of the holy warriors) Masood Azhar.

Ashley Stephens

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