The Hush Post| 12.50 pm |two-minute-read
Mastermind of the Pulwama attacks Maulana Masood Azhar is in Pakistan. This has been accepted by the Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmud Qureshi.
Masood’s terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed carried out the Pulwama attack in which 40 Indian soldiers were killed. This is the first official acknowledgement of India’s allegation that Masood Azhar operates from Pakistan.
Qureshi said that Masood Azhar is “unwell.”He is so unwell that he “can’t even leave his house,” Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in an interview to CNN.
“He is in Pakistan, according to my information. Azhar is very unwell. He is unwell to the extent that he cannot leave his house because he is really unwell. That’s the information I have,” the Pakistani Foreign Minister said.
Asked why not arrest him, “ill or not,” given India’s allegations of his role, Qureshi repeated that it needed “evidence.”
Qureshi’s admission comes at a time when pressure is mounting on Pakistan to act against terror outfits in Pakistan.
“If they (India) give us evidence which is acceptable to the courts of Pakistan – after all we will have to justify, they will go to court – and if they have solid, inalienable evidence, share it with us so that we can convince the people and convince the independent judiciary of Pakistan,” said the minister.
“We need to satisfy the legal process,” he said.
On Tuesday, India sent fighter planes to Pakistan to target a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror
India has pushed for listing of Masood Azhar as a global terrorist. Masood Azhar’s Jaish-e-Mohammed attacked Indian Parliament in 2001. It was also responsible for the Pathankot air force base attack of 2016, the attack on an army camp in Kashmir’s Uri in 2016 and the attack in Pulwama.
Amid grief and anger over the Pulwama attack, India called for a UN global terrorist tag on Masood Azhar. On Tuesday, India sent fighter planes to Pakistan for the first time in nearly 50 years. It was to target a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror training facility in Balakot. Pakistan’s subsequent attempt at airstrikes targeting Indian military facilities across the Line of Control led to the worst escalation between the neighbours in decades.
Pakistan captured an Indian pilot who had ejected from his falling jet after an aerial duel with one of the Pakistani warplanes trying to target Indian facilities.