Pakistan

Taliban say Jaish-e-Mohammad chief not in Afghanistan


A spokesperson for the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” has denied that Pakistan has demanded the handover of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar from Kabul.

“We’ve also seen this news in the media. But this is not true. Nobody has made such a demand from us,” said Zabihullah Mujahid in an interview with Afghanistan’s ToloNews a day after a section of the Pakistani media reported that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has written a letter to Kabul’s new rulers seeking custody of Maulana Masood Azhar.

According to the letter, Azhar has been hiding somewhere in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar.

“Jaish-e-Mohammad chief is not in Afghanistan. Such organisations can operate on Pakistan’s soil – and even under official patronage,” Mujahid added. “We’ll not allow anyone to use Afghanistan’s soil against any other country.”

Video: Islamic Emirate spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid denied that Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Maulan Masood Azhar is in Afghanistan, and said he is in Pakistan.
Pakistani media reported that Pakistan's MoFA in a letter asked the Islamic Emirate to find and arrest Azhar.#TOLOnews pic.twitter.com/CSAWHddWP2
— TOLOnews (@TOLOnews) September 14, 2022

A section of Pakistani media reported on Wednesday that MoFA had written a letter to the Afghan foreign ministry seeking Azhar’s handover. 

“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,” The News reported quoting a top official privy to the development.

However, when approached, a Foreign Office spokesperson told The Express Tribune that “It is not true”.

The JeM is a proscribed militant group which has been accused by India of several terrorist attacks, the most recent being the February 2019 suicide attack in Pulwama, in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, in which 40 Indian soldiers were killed.


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