ISLAMABAD: In an unusual development between Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Foreign Office has formally written a letter to Kabul asking them to locate, report, and arrest Maulana Masood Azhar, the founding head of a religio-militant organisation Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM).
The organisation is already banned in Pakistan.
“We have written a one-page letter to the Afghan Foreign Ministry asking them to locate, report and arrest Masood Azhar, as we believe that he is hiding somewhere in Afghanistan,” a top official privy to the development told Geo News correspondent while requesting anonymity.
Foreign Office spokesperson, when approached to comment on the matter, avoided responding to this development.
The one-page letter has also pointed out two different provinces namely Nangarhar and Kunar where the JEM leader is most likely hiding.
It is not yet confirmed whether Azhar moved to Afghanistan before the Taliban took control of Kabul on August 15, 2021, or after that.
Pakistan had formally banned JEM on terrorism charges since January 14, 2002. The development took place during former president General Pervez Musharraf's rule
After 17 years of the ban on JEM, the Interior Ministry — after receiving credible intelligence — banned two more organisations including the Al-Rehmat Trust in Bahawalpur and Al-Furqan Trust in Karachi on May 10, 2019.
The defunct JEM chief Maulana Masood Azhar, being a suspected terrorist, also remained part of schedule four of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1999. He is alleged to plan multiple terrorist activities in different places.
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