Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar is alive, claims Pakistan Minister

Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan, culture and information minister of Pakistan’s Punjab, has claimed that “He is alive. Maulana Masood Azhar is alive. We have no information of his death”

Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar is alive, claims Pakistan Minister

NH Web Desk

After Pakistani media, now a provincial minister in Pakistan’s Punjab has claimed that India’s most wanted terrorist and Jaish-e-Mohammed chief is alive.

Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan, the culture and information minister of Pakistan’s Punjab has claimed that “He is alive. Maulana Masood Azhar is alive. We have no information of his death.”

Previously, in an interview to CNN on March 1, Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had said, “He is in Pakistan, according to my information. He is unwell to the extent that he can't leave his house, because he's really unwell.”

Qureshi had added that Pakistan government would act against him only if New Delhi presented “solid” and “inalienable” evidence that can stand in a court of law.

Masood Azhar is “alive”, a Pakistani media report previously said on Sunday, quoting unnamed sources close to his family. The media reports claiming that JeM leader is dead are false, Geo Urdu News reported. The report came amid speculation on social media that JeM founder has died. However, there was no official confirmation.

Quoting unnamed sources close to the family of the JeM chief, the channel said Azhar is “alive”, without elaborating on his health condition.

After speculations over Jaish-e-Mohammed chief and terrorist Azhar’s death started circulating in media, the terror outfit on Sunday had released a statement saying that he is alive and doing well.

JeM had claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack in which over 40 CRPF jawans were killed. 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.

Meanwhile, Intelligence agencies in New Delhi were trying to ascertain reports on the social media about the death of Masood Azhar in Pakistan.

The Indian officials said they had no information other than that Masood Azhar was undergoing treatment at an army hospital after suffering renal failure.

Jaish terror group’s Balakot camp, where training was imparted to recruits to carry out suicide attacks, was targeted by the IAF in an air strike last week, following the Pulwama terror.

The Indian government has claimed that it achieved a spectacular success by destroying the facility.

The US, the UK and France last week moved a fresh proposal in the UN Security Council to designate Azhar as a global terrorist, a listing that will subject him to global travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo.

(With PTI inputs)

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