India’s most wanted terrorist and Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar is “alive”.
Recently a news spread that Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar has died in Islamabad two days after Pakistan publicly admitted to his presence amid heightened tensions with India. Azhar was admitted to an army hospital in Islamabad and died on Saturday, the reports claim. Speculation also intensified on Twitter with #MasoodAzharDEAD trending at the top on Sunday evening. Pakistan, however, are yet to officially confirm or announce Azhar’s death.
But a Pakistani channel, Geo Urdu News has quoted unnamed sources close to the family of the JeM chief to confirm that Masood Azhar is alive. The channel said Azhar is “alive” but refrained from elaborating any further on his health condition.
Masood Azhar is still alive some people only want him to come on media and say “India is again wrong” https://t.co/WjfpUmVEbj
— Hamid Mir (@HamidMirPAK) March 3, 2019
There is no word from the Pakistani government so far.
In an interview to CNN on March 1, Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had confirmed that Azhar was in his country and that he was “really unwell”.
“He is in Pakistan, according to my information. He is unwell to the extent that he can’t leave his house, because he’s really unwell,” Qureshi had said, adding that the Pakistan government would act against him only if New Delhi presented “solid” and “inalienable” evidence that can stand in a court of law.
India has been trying to get Azhar designated a global terrorist by the UN and had intensified lobbying for the same following the February 14 Pulwama attack in which 44 CRPF jawans were killed. The Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) had claimed responsibility for the attack.
About Azhar In Brief
A resident of Bahawalpur in Pakistan’s Punjab province, Azhar formed the Jaish-e-Mohammed in 2000.
The 50-year-old Azhar, who was released by the NDA government in 1999 in exchange of hostages of the hijacked Indian Airlines plane IC-814.
Azhar formed JeM in 2000 and a year later the group was blamed for a brazen attack on Parliament (2001) in which militants killed 10 people, bringing India and Pakistan to the brink of war.
Azhar was detained and placed under house arrest, but a court in Lahore ordered his release in 2002, citing “lack of evidence”.
As home-grown Pakistani militant groups turned their guns on the state after 9/11, Rana said Azhar was one of the few who kept a low profile.
The JeM struck again in 2016, killing 19 Indian soldiers in an attack on a military base in J&K’s Uri. Azhar was again taken into “protective custody”, but never formally charged. His organisation is responsible for Pulwama attack. (14 February 2019) in India.
The US, the UK and France last week moved a fresh proposal in the UN Security Council to designate Azhar as a global terrorist, a listing that will subject him to global travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo.
The proposal was moved Wednesday by the three permanent veto-wielding members of the 15-nation Security Council. The Security Council Sanctions Committee will have 10 working days to consider the fresh proposal submitted by the three permanent members.
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