Amid Reports of Death, Pak Minister Says Masood Azhar is Alive
Amid speculation of Maulana Masood Azhar’s death, Pakistan Minister Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan has claimed that the Jaish-e-Mohammad chief is alive, and that the country has no information on his death.
Unconfirmed reports by several media houses had been doing the rounds on Sunday, 3 March, suggesting that Azhar, India’s most wanted terrorist at the moment, is dead. Recently, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar is "unwell in Pakistan".
Azhar-led JeM claimed responsibility for the attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district last month, in which 40 CRPF jawans were martyred.
Pakistan’s Geo Urdu News on Sunday also reported that Azhar is "alive". Quoting unnamed sources close to his family, the channel said Azhar is "alive", without elaborating on his health condition.
"I don't know anything at this moment," Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry told PTI on Sunday, when asked about media reports claiming Azhar’s death.
Meanwhile, Intelligence agencies in New Delhi on Sunday were trying to ascertain reports on the social media about Azhar’s death in Pakistan, PTI reported.
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, has been accused of being the mastermind of the 2001 Parliament attack, suicide attack on Jammu and Kashmir state assembly, attack on Pathankot IAF base and the latest Pulwama terror strike.
(With inputs from PTI)
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