File photo of Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

‘JeM Chief in Pakistan and Really Unwell’: Pak Foreign Min

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Thursday, 28 February, said that Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar is in Pakistan and he is really unwell. He further added that he is sick to the extent that he can’t leave his house.

Qureshi made these comments in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour and added that’s the only information he has on the JeM chief.

“He is in Pakistan according to my information, he is very unwell. He is unwell to the extent that he can’t leave his house,” Qureshi told Amanpour.

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India has sought a global ban against Azhar and his organisation JeM which has carried out a number of terror attacks in India including the 14 February Pulwama terror attack which claimed the lives of 40 CRPF jawans.

On being questioned about why does Pakistan not arrest Azhar if he is in their territory, Qureshi said that if India provides evidence that is “acceptable to the courts of Pakistan” against Azhar then Pakistan will take action.

“If they give us evidence, which is acceptable to the courts of Pakistan, if they have solid evidence, share it with us. So that we can convince the people of Pakistan and the independent judiciary of Pakistan.”
Shah Mehmood Qureshi to CNN.

Reiterating Pakistan’s stance of de-escalating tension between the two countries, Quresi said, “We are open to any step that leads to de-escalation and if they have good, solid evidence, please sit and talk, please initiate a dialogue and we will show reasonableness.”

‘SHAH MEHMOOD ADMITS AZHAR IS IN PAK’

Journalists and analysts on Twitter pointed out that Pakistan Foreign Minister Qureshi has admitted that JeM chief is in Pakistan, but they won’t do anything as the government can’t “disobey their army and ISI.”

JEM CHIEF AND THE HISTORY OF TERROR

The 2001 terror attacks on the Indian Parliament, the 2016 Pathankot attack, 2016 Uri attack and now the Pulwama attack are a few which have been carried out by JeM.

After the 2001 Parliament attack, the US State Department added JeM to its list of Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO). He was arrested by the Pakistani authorities in December 2001 for involvement in the attacks. However, he was let go off by the Lahore High Court a year later.

To avoid the repercussions of being on the FTO list, Azhar renamed the group. However, since 2015 he has been responsible for increasing number of attacks on India.

However, Pakistan has always denied the knowledge of any terror on its soil, but has provided security and protection to terrorists like Masood Azhar, 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed.

INDIA SEEKS GLOBAL BAN FOR AZHAR

India moved a proposal to designate Masood Azhar a UN-designated global terrorist in 2009. In 2016, United States of America, United Kingdom and France moved the proposal with India in the United Nations Security Council to ban Azhar, who was the mastermind of the Pathankot airbase attack in India.

However, the move was blocked by China.

And now in a fresh proposal, the three countries have again asked the 15-member UNSC to ban the JeM chief which will subject him to a global travel ban and asset freeze.