Jaish chief Masood Azhar is alive, claims Pakistan minister

Amid speculation of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar’s whereabouts on Sunday with a report of him getting killed in the bombardment by Indian Air Force (IAF) on a terror camp, Pakistan’s Provincial Minister of Punjab for information and culture Fayaz-ul-Hasan Chohan told news agency ANI that Masood Azhar was alive.

“He is alive, Maulana Masood Azhar is alive,” Chohan claimed. “We have no information of his death.”

Jaish-e-Mohammed has carried out multiple attacks on India in over two decades, including the recent suicide bombing in Pulwama on February 14 which claimed the life of 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) soldiers.

In retaliation, the Indian Air Force launched airstrikes on Jaish terror camps and launch pads last week at 3.30 am. According to sources, 1,000 kg bombs were dropped on Jaish bases across the LoC by multiple jets, including the IAF’s Mirage 2000.

Though there was no credible confirmation about the number of casualties, and Pakistani establishment remaining in denial mode, a video clip of Masood Azhar’s brother Maulana Ammar had surfaced on Saturday where he can be heard accepting that the Balakot camp had taken a hit. The recording is said to be from a public function organized in Peshawar after the air strike.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also accepted on television that Masood Azhar was in Pakistan and that he was not well. Another report from Islamabad said the JeM founder was undergoing dialysis in a Pakistan army hospital. Reports claimed that after getting seriously injured in the air strike, Masood Azhar died in a hospital.


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