Tuesday Sep 13, 2022
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has formally written a letter to Kabul, asking to locate, report and arrest Maulana Masood Azhar — the founding head of a militant organisation Jaish E Mohammad (JeM), which is banned in Pakistan.
“We have written a one-page letter to the Afghan Foreign Ministry, asking it to locate, report and arrest Masood Azhar as we believe that he is hiding somewhere in Afghanistan,” a top official privy to the development directly told this correspondent on the condition of anonymity.
Foreign Office spokesperson when approached, avoided commenting on this development.
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The one-page letter also pointed out two different provinces of Afghanistan — namely Nangarhar and Kunar — where Azhar is mostly likely hiding.
It is not yet confirmed whether Azhar moved to Afghanistan before the Taliban took control of Kabul or after that.
Islamabad formally banned JeM on terrorism charges on January 14, 2002, during General (retd) Pervez Musharraf's rule in Pakistan.
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After 17 years of ban on JeM, the Interior Ministry — after receiving credible intelligence — banned two more organisations named Al-Rehmat Trust, Bahawalpur and Al-Furqan Trust, Karachi on May 10, 2019.
Defunct JeM chief Azhar being a suspected terrorist also remained part of schedule four of the Anti Terrorism Act 1999. He has allegedly planned multiple terrorist activities in different places.