Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has admitted that Masood Azhar, the chief of terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed, is in Pakistan. Mr Qureshi’s admission is significant at a time global pressure is building on Pakistan to act against terror groups operating on its soil.
“He (Masood Azhar) is in Pakistan. According to my information, he is very unwell. He’s unwell to the extent that he cannot leave his house because he is really unwell. So, that’s the information I have,” Qureshi told CNN in an interview.
The Pakistan foreign minister’s comments came as France, the UK and the US have launched a fresh bid at the UN to list Masood Azhar, founder of the Jaish that took responsibility for the February 14 Pulwama terror attack, as a global terrorist though China remained non-committal on backing the move.
Masood Azhar is the chief of Jaish-e-Mohammad – the organisation that has carried out multiple attacks on India over the last nearly two decades, including the recent Pulwama attack that killed 44 CRPF officers. India has been repeatedly trying to list him as a “global terrorist” at the United Nations Security Council. However, China has single-handedly blocked all attempts of India.
Show evidence, we will take action
In an interview with the CNN, Qureshi said that for the Pakistani authorities to arrest Azhar, India would first have to hand over proof that is “acceptable in Pakistani courts.”
Masood Azhar’s JeM has been behind the attack on the Parliament House in 2001, the Pathankot air force base attack of 2016, the terror strike on army camps in Jammu and Uri in 2016, and the latest suicide attack on CRPF in Pulwama, which escalated the tensions between the two nations.
India had on Wednesday handed over a dossier to Pakistan on Jaish’s role in the Pulwama terror attack, in which 44 CRPF jawans were killed, detailing the terror camps operating in Pakistan and the route taken by terrorists from Balakot, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, to Jammu and Kashmir to mount attacks.
“If they (India) have good solid evidence, please sit and talk, please have dialogue and we will be reasonable,” he said.
Due To International Pressure, Pakistan Is Relasing Abhinandan Varthaman
Qureshi went on to add that the release of captured Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman is a gesture of peace and should be seen as Pakistan’s willingness to de-escalate tension between New Delhi and Islamabad.
But Imran Khan’s announcement also came amid pressure from New Delhi and other countries to act against terror emanating from his country.
The 35-year-old Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was flying the MiG-21 Bison that shot down the PAF F-16 in the aerial engagement with Pakistan on Wednesday morning.
The IAF pilot will be brought by Pakistani authorities from Rawalpindi to Lahore and handed over first to the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) under rules of the Geneva Convention before being brought to the Wagah check post to return home. Also Read: Read Facts & Watch Brave Videos Of Flying Pilot Abhinandan Varthaman
Cross-border violation and terrorism continue to act as a menace in the Kashmir Valley. On Friday, a civilian was injured due to cross-border firing by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control (LoC).
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