Pak places Masood Azhar under house arrest

Jaish-e-Mohammed founder Maulana Masood Azhar has been placed under house arrest as international pressure mounted on Pakistan to act against such "non-state actors" in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks in which Pakistani elements were found to be involved. Restrictions were imposed yesterday on Azhar's movements and he was confined to his Bahawalpur home, which was ringed by security personnel, Dawn News channel quoted sources in the interior ministry as saying. The Pakistani action came even as Islamabad rejected India's demand to hand over the JeM founder along with two 1993 Bombay blasts accused -- underworld dons Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon. The action against Masood came a day after security forces arrested key LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhwi, suspected to be the mastermind of the Mumbai attacks, along with 20 other militants. The Pakistan Army today said the crackdown against the banned militant group will continue. "More arrests are expected," an army official said adding that operations will continue till "desired results" are achieved. A contingent of security personnel had been deployed outside Azhar's house since yesterday, the sources said but added that he would not be handed over to India. No action would be taken against Masood, sources said unless India provides "concrete evidence" of his involvement in the Mumbai attacks. India's demand to hand him over along with Dawood and Memon was made in a demarche on December 1. Pakistan turned down the demand, but said it would take action under the country's laws against any Pakistani national found to be involved in the Mumbai attacks. Azhar formed the Jaish shortly after he was freed by Indian authorities along with two other terrorists in exchange for passengers of an Indian Airlines flight hijacked from Kathmandu to Kandahar in 1999.