New Delhi: Pakistani government has said its security forces have arrested Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) chief Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar.
Pakistan Defence Minister Chaudhry Mukhtar Ahmed claimed both Lakhvi and Azhar were arrested by security forces on Monday.
"Lakhvi was picked up yesterday. Azhar has also been picked up," Choudhry Mukhtar Ahmed told in an exclusive interview to CNN-IBN and also challenged both US and India to show proof of terrorists being trained in Pakistan.
"Both US and India say they have ample proofs but why is it hidden from us?" Ahmed asked.
Claiming that Islamabad was cracking down on terror groups, Ahmed said, "No one can doubt our credibility. We have discussed how we can help our neighbours in fighting terrorism. We are ready to help India in every possible way. Joint investigations will help in Mumbai attack."
"We will help India in joint investigations .India may be allowed to interrogate these people also," he added.
He also claimed that there was no movement of Pakistani troops towards Indian borders.
Lakhvi has been accused of masterminding the Mumbai terror attacks. The only surviving Mumbai attacker, Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab, has told the investigating agencies that the entire operation was planned by Lakhvi.
He is believed to have personally seen off the terrorists to Mumbai from Karachi. The terrorists were in constant touch through cell phones with Lakhvi and LeT India-head Yusaf Muzammil.
Lakhvi also goes by the names Abu Waheed and Chachu and is believed to have some more aliases. Intelligence agencies have at least two addresses that belong to Lakhvi. Reports suggest he was based in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir but moved to Karachi in August.
According to US officials Lakhvi has also directed terrorist actions in Chechnya, Bosnia, Iraq and South-east Asia.
Masood Azhar is on most wanted list handed over to Pakistan by India due to his long list of terror activities.
Azhar has been in Pakistan since 1999 after India released him in exchange for passengers of the hijacked IC 814 Indian Airlines flight in 1999. IC 814 hijackers were led by Masood Azhar's brother, Ibrahim Athar.
After his release Azhar founded the terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad backed by al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and was responsible for the 2001 Parliament attack.
Following the US pressure after September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Towers, Pakistani authorities did detain Azhar but he was never formally charged.
- Operation against LeT to go on: Pakistani Army
- Pak imposes restrictions on Masood Azhar: report
- Pak 'raids' LeT camp to appease US, India