Wednesday December 07, 2022

Masood Azhar not in Afghanistan: Taliban

By Azaz Syed
September 15, 2022

KABUL: The Taliban government on Wednesday denied the presence of Maulana Masood Azhar, the head of banned Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), in Afghanistan.

A day earlier, Pakistan formally wrote a letter to Kabul, asking to locate, report and arrest the JeM chief as it is believed that he is hiding somewhere in Afghanistan. According to the letter, Azhar is likely residing in two different provinces of Afghanistan, Nangarhar and Kunar.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said that the JeM chief is not in Afghanistan but in Pakistan. Islamabad formally banned JeM on terrorism charges on January 14, 2002, during General (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s rule in Pakistan. 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 at different places.