Where is Masood Azhar? Pakistan writes to Afghanistan seeking JeM chief’s arrest

New Delhi: Pakistan has formally written a letter to Afghanistan regarding the presence of Maulana Masood Azhar, the founding head of the banned terrorist organization Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), in Afghanistan, clarifying that Azhar is likely to be in the Nangarhar and Kunhar areas of Afghan province. It also urged the Afghan authorities that the defunct JeM chief be found and reported to the Pakistani authorities and arrested, said an IANS report.

The development comes after Paris-based international watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has forced Islamabad to take action against some of the UN-designated terrorists, offering the possibility of getting it out from the grey list. The letter, written by Pakistan`s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, however, did not reveal more in this matter. 

On May 1, 2019, the UN added Masood Azhar’s name to the list of globally designated terrorists. Notably, the US had added JeM to the list of Foreign Terrorist Organisation in the wake of the attack on the Indian Parliament in 2008. India has repeatedly asked the UN Security Council to declare JeM and Masood Azhar as global terrorist organisations, but China has been vetoing it.

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Notably, Pakistan`s recent action on Lashkar e Taiba (LeT) operational commander Sajid Mir, which it kept on declaring dead until now, is due to the FATF`s persistent pressure on Pakistan, which has so far maintained that Azhar is not present in Pakistan and likely to be in Afghanistan. 

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Although Pakistan always claimed that he is not traceable, Azhar continues to publish articles on Pakistani social media networks exhorting JeM cadres to indulge in Jihad. The JeM chief also eulogized the Taliban takeover of Kabul, stating that this would open avenues for Muslim victories elsewhere, according to reports in the media.

(With ANI/IANS reports)  

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