ISLAMABAD: In an unusual development, Islamabad has formally written a letter to Kabul for locating reporting and arresting, Maulana Masood Azhar, the founding head of a banned religio-militant organization, Jaish E Mohammad (JEM).
“We have written a one-page letter to 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 directly, told this correspondent while requesting anonymity.
The Foreign Office spokesman, when approached for comment, avoided to say anything on this development. The one-page letter has also pointed out Nangarhar and Kunar provinces where Masood Azhar is likely to be hiding.
It is not confirmed so far that whether Masood moved to Afghanistan before Taliban’s takeover of Kabul since August 15,2021 or after that. The sources claimed Masood Azhar’s hiding in Afghanistan has also been communicated to the 15-members Financial Action Task Force (FATF) team that concluded its five-day trip to Islamabad.
Islamabad had formally banned JEM on terrorism charges since January 14,2002 during the rule of Gen Musharraf. After 17 years of ban on JEM, the Interior Ministry, after receiving credible intelligence, banned two more organisations namely Al-Rehmat Trust, Bahawalpur and Al-Furqan Trust, Karachi, on May 10,2019.
Defunct JEM chief Maulana Masood Azhar, being a suspected terrorist, also remained part of the schedule four of Anti Terrrorism Act 1999. He is alleged to have planned multiple terrorists activities in different places.
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