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Pakistan writes to Afghanistan, says find and arrest Masood Azhar

by | Sep 14, 2022 | Afghanistan, Pakistan, Taliban

Pakistan banned JeM on January 14, 2002, when General Pervez Musharraf was the president, but that has done little to curb its terror activities.

New Delhi: The Pakistani government has reportedly asked the ruling Taliban in Afghanistan to locate and arrest Masood Azhar, the founder of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) that has masterminded and carried out some of the deadliest terror strikes in India.
According to Pakistani media House GEO, the letter was sent by the ministry of foreign affairs. The move comes ahead of a string of multilateral international gatherings in which terrorism and Islamabad’s support for such outfits are likely to be taken up.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi travels to Samarkand in Uzbekistan for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit on September 15 and 16. The UN Security Council meeting and the G 20 summit, too, will be held over the next few weeks.
Political observers see the letter as the latest gimmick by Pakistan to get off the Financial Action Task Force (FATF’s) grey list for failing to curb terror financing.
The global dirty money watchdog put Pakistan, which is facing a severe economic crisis, on the list in 2018.
Banned but still free
Pakistan banned JeM on January 14, 2002, when General Pervez Musharraf was the president, but that has done little to curb its terror activities.
India’s attempts to get the JeM leader designated as a global terrorist, which would have led to the freezing of assets, a travel ban and an arms embargo, have been thwarted by China on multiple occasions.
On August 9, India’s permanent representative to the UN Ruchira Kamboj took a veiled dig at China over the issue.
“An effective functioning of the sanctions committees requires them to become more transparent, accountable and objective. The practice of placing holds and blocks on listing requests without giving any justification must end,” she said.
Kamboj was referring to the oft-abused practice of China coming to the aid of “all-weather friend” Pakistan by saying it needed time to assess the application or that the details provided were not the latest.
In the letter, the Pakistani government reportedly said Azhar was likely to be in the Nangarhar and Kunhar areas of Afghanistan, which is being seen as an attempt by the Shabaz’s Sharif government to convey that the Jash chief and his men were not in Pakistan.
In June 2022, the UN’s Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team in its 13th report submitted resolution 2611 (2021) concerning the Taliban and other associated individuals that posed threat to peace, stability and security in Afghanistan.
The report said, “…Jaish-i-Mohammed (JiM) (QDe.019) is a Deobandi group that is ideologically closer to the Taliban. The leader of the group is Masood Azhar (QDi.422), and Qari Ramazan is the newly appointed head of JiM in Afghanistan. According to one Member State, JiM maintains eight training camps in Nangarhar, three of which are directly under Taliban control. LeT (QDe.118) is described in previous Monitoring Team reports as having provided finance and training expertise to Taliban operations.”
Azhar formed the JeM after he was released by India in 1999 in exchange for passengers of a hijacked Indian Airlines plane that was diverted to Kandahar.
JeM is responsible for multiple deadly attacks in India, including the attack on Parliament in December 2001, which brought India and Pakistan to the brink of a war.
India’s most wanted terrorist was also named as the mastermind of the February 2010 Pulwama suicide attack that left 40 CRPF soldiers dead.

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