Tomorrow Pakistan may say that we don’t have Army and ISI ! – Editor, Hindujagruti
Islamabad : A day after Masood Azhar’s son and brother were taken into “preventive custody” by Pakistan, the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) chief on Wednesday issued an audio clip proclaiming that he is alive and warned the authorities to “Fear God”. Ironically, the terror kingpin’s audio clip was released on Jaish-encrypted chat platforms on a day when Pakistan’s army denied that JeM “exists” in the country.
The Pakistan army’s denial comes almost a week after the country’s foreign minister Mehmood Qureshi had replied in the affirmative during a CNN interview when he was asked whether Azhar was present in Pakistan. However, on Wednesday, army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor sang a different tune on the terror organisation, which had claimed responsibility for the Pulwama suicide bombing that killed 40 CRPF jawans. “First of all, that (JeM’s) claim has not been made from within Pakistan because JeM does not exist in Pakistan as it has been proscribed by the UN and Pakistan also,” Maj Gen Ghafoor told CNN.
Interestingly, Maj Gen Ghafoor’s assertion came a day after Pakistan interior ministry had admitted that Azhar’s son and brother, Hamad Azhar and Mufti Abul Rauf, were among those detained who were named in the Indian dossier on the Pulwama attack.
Just a week ago, Qureshi had admitted in the CNN interview that Azhar was in Pakistan and “is very unwell to the extent that he cannot leave his house”. When asked why Pakistan had not taken action against Azhar, Qureshi had said the government wanted “solid, inalienable evidence” to convince the “people and the independent judiciary of Pakistan” of their actions.
However, Azhar was quite active when he used the audio clip on Wednesday to warn the Pakistani authorities. “Stop persecuting the mosques, madrassas and mujahideen. Remember, that when a Muslim flees the battle against the hypocrites, the wrath of Allah is upon him,” he said.
“There are reports the world over of my death. But, without doubt, God alone decides how long we are to live,” he said in the clip, which seems to have been recorded on Monday as the Jaish chief says, “Today is 4th March, 2019. The day has passed, Tuesday night is upon us and I have no way of knowing whether I will be alive when you hear my words.”
On Tuesday, Pakistan had launched a crackdown on banned militant outfits and detained 44 members of proscribed organisations, including Azhar’s brother and son. The action against the banned outfits, according to Pakistan’s junior interior minister, will continue for two weeks.
Maj Gen Ghafoor said on Wednesday that any clampdown on militants was part of an ongoing domestic policy. “We are not doing anything under anyone’s pressure,” he said, adding that Pakistan would root out “anybody who operates from its soil”. “We feel that it is not in the interest of Pakistan,” he said.
Source : TOI