Dhaka, July 9 - Two Pakistani militants were arrested in Bangladesh's Jhalakathi district, the hotbed of Islamist militancy, in increasing proof of the growing nexus between extremists of both the countries.
The Pakistanis were among nine militants detained in the district. One of the men was living illegally in Bangladesh for the past 18 years. They gave their names to the police as Golam Sabbir of Sargoda in Punjab and Belal Afsar.
According to police, those detained said they were members of 'Dawat-e-Islami (Tablig and Dawat)' and claimed to be engaged in religious preaching.
The Daily Star newspaper said they were suspected to have links with militancy and sent to Jhalakathi District Jail.
Two judges were killed in Jhalakathi for which seven top militants of Bangladesh, including Shaiukh Abdur Rahman and Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai have been convicted.
The district mosque authority informed Jhalakathi Public Prosecutor Advocate Haider Hossain of the men after they found their movements suspicious. When they failed to give satisfactory replies about their identities and activities, he contacted the police who arrested them.
Golam Sabbir said he had visited Bangladesh twice earlier and came from Pakistan with a valid passport and visa, adding that he had been working with the Tablig and Dawat in Dhaka, Chittagong, Syedpur and Rangamati for the last two-and-a-half months.
He, however, failed to show the original passport, claiming that it has been kept in Dhaka. Belal Afsar said that he came to Bangladesh 18 years ago and had been staying here since then.