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Home / News / World /  Masood Azhar: Pakistan asks Taliban to arrest India's most-wanted terrorist, tips off secret location
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The Pakistani foreign ministry has made contact with the Afghan Taliban to locate and detain Masood Azhar, claims a Pakistani media report. The Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) leader is responsible for many significant terror acts in India, such as the 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament and the 2019 Pulwama explosion.

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The action is apparently being taken against a backdrop of pressure from Western nations on Pakistan to take action against the UN-designated terrorist leader who founded JeM after being released along with two other terrorists by Indian authorities in exchange for the passengers of an Indian Airlines flight that was hijacked in December 1999 and flown from Kathmandu to Kandahar.

For a long time, it has been widely speculated that Islamabad desperately tries to hide the fact that Masood Azhar is, in fact, located in Pakistan. It is also speculated that the Azhar’s hideout in Pakistan’s Bahawalpur is protected by Pakistani soldiers.

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Pakistani authorities now believe Azhar is hiding “somewhere in Afghanistan", Pakistan’s Geo News station cited an unidentified Pakistani person familiar with the situation as claiming. In its letter, Pakistan has noted that Azhar is most likely in the Afghan provinces of Nangarhar or Kunar. It has not yet been determined if Azhar arrived in Afghanistan before or after the Taliban seized control of Kabul in August 2021, the report added. There has not been any official comment from Pakistan’s Foreign Office yet.

Masood Azhar continues to publish articles on Pakistani social media networks urging JeM cadres to engage in jihad and praising the Taliban takeover of Kabul, claiming that Taliban victory would open doors for Muslim victories elsewhere, according to South Asia Press. And, it is going on despite Pakistan's claims that Azhar cannot be traced.

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India earlier asked for a UN Security Council resolution to name Abdul Rauf Azhar, the deputy chief of the JeM, as a worldwide terrorist. Masood Azhar's younger brother was involved in the planning and execution of a number of terror attacks in India, including the 1999 hijacking of Indian Airlines flight IC814, the 2001 attack on Parliament, and the 2016 targeting of the IAF installation in Pathankot. India’s request was, however, blocked by China.

(With agency inputs)

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