Pakistan on Thursday said it has detained more than 100 people and taken control of 182 schools as part of its ongoing crackdown on banned outfits. The country’s interior ministry downplayed speculation that the action was a response to India’s allegations and said that it was part of a long-planned drive, Reuters reported.

Islamabad said provincial governments have “taken in their control management and administration of 182 seminaries [madaris or religious schools]”. Law enforcement agencies have taken 121 people under preventive detention, Pakistan’s Interior Ministry said.

The Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawa and its charity wing Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation have also been affected by the crackdown, Dawn reported. Minister of State for Interior Affairs Shehryar Afridi said the crack down will continue.

On Monday, Pakistan had enacted a law to streamline the process for the implementation of United Nations sanctions against individuals and organisations amid global pressure to curb the activities and financing provided to terror groups operating on its soil. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had said the government issued the United Nations Security Council (Freezing and Seizure) Order, 2019, in accordance with the provisions of Pakistan’s United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Act, 1948.

On Tuesday, Pakistani Interior Ministry said officials had detained 44 members of banned organisations, including Jaish chief Masood Azhar’s brother Mufti Abdur Rauf, and son Hamad Azhar.

Pakistan under pressure

The crackdown claimed by Pakistan comes amid heightened tensions with India after the Pulwama suicide attack. Pakistan is under pressure from the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force to deliver on its commitments to curb terror financing. Last year, the task force had put the country on its watchlist in an effort to push Pakistan to halt support for terror groups.

On March 1, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had told the BBC that the Jaish-e-Mohammad group had not claimed responsibility for the Pulwama suicide bombing, even though the outfit had issued a press release to this effect.