New Delhi: Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has admitted that Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar is in Pakistan.

Azhar has masterminded several attacks in India and his group is the one blamed for the 14 February attack on the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) bus in Pulwama that killed 40 personnel.

Qureshi’s admission came in an interview with CNN overnight on Friday.

When asked if Pakistan is willing to name Masood Azhar as a terrorist under UN norms, something that India has been trying for, Qureshi said: “We will be open to any step that leads to de-escalation and if they have good solid evidence, please sit and talk, please initiate a dialogue and we will show reasonableness."

When asked if Azhar was in Pakistan, Qureshi admitted he was. “He is in Pakistan; according to my information he is very unwell. He is unwell to the extent that he cannot leave his house," the Pakistan minister said.

To a question whether Pakistan would consider arresting Azhar, Qureshi said India would first have to provide “evidence which is acceptable in court".

“If they have solid inalienable evidence, share it with us," Qureshi said.

India has long been saying that Azhar is in Pakistan and has been asking Islamabad to act against him and his group, which he formed after his release in a hostage swap after the 1999 Indian Airlines flight 814 hijack. 

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