Pakistan said – Masood Azhar is hiding in Afghanistan
An official of Pakistan’s Foreign Office said that we have written a one-page letter to the Foreign Ministry of Afghanistan. It has asked to trace, report and arrest Masood Azhar. The official said that we believe that he is hiding somewhere in Afghanistan. However, Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson has refrained from making an official comment on the matter. On the other hand, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid has also categorically denied receiving any such letter from Pakistan. Mujahid said that we have not received any letter yet.
Masood Azhar was banned by Pakistan in 2002
A one-page letter sent to Pakistan said that Masood Azhar may be hiding in Nangarhar or Kunar province. It is not yet confirmed whether Azhar had migrated to Afghanistan before or after the Taliban’s capture of Kabul. Pakistan banned Jaish-e-Mohammed on January 14, 2002, on charges of terrorism during the regime of General Pervez Musharraf. After which his kingpin went into the protective custody of ISI.
Masood Azhar’s 2 trusts were banned in 2019
Following a 17-year ban on Jaish-e-Mohammed, Pakistan’s Interior Ministry on May 10, 2019, based on intelligence, banned two more organizations namely Al-Rahmat Trust, Bahawalpur and Al-Furqan Trust, Karachi. Both these trusts were the masks of Masood Azhar’s terrorist organization. It was through them that Jaish Ek Mohammad used to get funding. However, even after the ban on his trust, Masood Azhar has opened many other organizations and trusts, through which he receives huge amounts of donations from Pakistan and foreign countries.
Masood Azhar is a global terrorist
Masood Azhar was designated a global terrorist after the Pulwama attack in February 2019. Sources say that this is the second time that Pakistan has written a letter to Afghanistan demanding the arrest of Masood Azhar. During the ministerial level talks with Afghanistan in January this year, Pakistan had raised the issue of Masood Azhar’s arrest.
Pakistan yearning to exit FATF
Pakistan has been in the gray list of FATF for the last four consecutive years. Just last month, between August 28 and September 3, a FATF team had reached Pakistan to know the ground reality. During this, Pakistan had told FATF that Maulana Masood Azhar is not in Pakistan as he fled to Afghanistan long ago. Pakistan is expected to be dropped from the gray list at the FATF’s October plenary meeting. But, for this a 34-point agenda has to be followed.