New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Days ahead of the FATF's crucial plenary meeting, an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan on Thursday issued a warrant of arrest against Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar on terror financing charges. The warrant was issued by the ATC Gujranwala judge Natasha Naseem Supra on the request of a Counter Terrorism Department inspector.  The judge has directed the CTD to present Azhar in the court after his arrest.

"ATC Gujranwala judge Natasha Naseem Supra issued an arrest warrant for Masood Azhar and directed the CTD to arrest him and present him in the court. The CTD told the judge that the JeM chief was involved in terror financing and selling jihadi literature," an official told PTI.

Azhar had been named in a 13,500 page chargesheet filed by the National Investigation Agency on the 2019 Pulwama Attack. Two relatives of Masood Azhar -- Abdula Rauf and Ammar Alvi -- have been named in the chargesheet as the main conspirators behind the case. 

Azhar is believed to be hiding in a "safe place" in his native town of Bahawalpur, located in Pakistan's Punjab province. His terror organisation had claimed responsibility the Pulwama attack that claimed the lives of 40 CRPF soldiers.  

Thursday's development has come days after the country arrested LeT operations commander and 26/11 attacks mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi on terror financing charges. Lakhvi was listed as a global terrorist by the United Nations after the 2008 Mumbai Attacks. He was released from a Pakistani jail in 2015 after spending nearly six years in detention.

Posted By: Lakshay Raja