Pakistan foreign minister hints that govt in touch with Jaish leadership

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Friday hinted that the Pakistani government is in touch with the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) leadership. Qureshi’s startling admission came a day after he admitted that the chief of the banned terror outfit, Masood Azhar, is in Pakistan.

In an interview with a foreign media, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that Jaish-e-Mohammed has not claimed the responsibility of the Pulwama terror group. “Pakistan is not sure of Jaish’s involvement in the Pulwama terror attack,” the Pakistan foreign minister said.

When the interviewer asserted that Jaish has claimed the responsibility of the Pulwama terror attack, Shah Mehmood Qureshi claimed that the terror group was not behind the suicide attack. “They have not [claimed the responsibility]. There’s still confusion on that.”

The leadership in contact said ‘no’: Qureshi

While the interviewer maintained that Jaish took the responsibility of the attack, Qureshi said that there were conflicting reports on the same. He then said that the Jaish leadership was contacted and it denied their role in the Pulwama terror attack.

When he was asked who contacted the leadership of Jaish, Qureshi said, “There are people here who are known to them. They [Jaish] did not claim responsibility of the February 14 attack.”

Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s statement came despite the fact that the Jaish issued a statement through its spokesperson, claiming the responsibility of the attack. The Jaish had even identified the suicide bomber as Adil Ahmed Dar alias Waqas Commando of Gundi Bagh, Pulwama.

Soon after the terror attack, JeM spokesperson Muhammad Hassan, in a statement, said that “dozens of forces’ vehicles were destroyed”. The Jaish-e-Mohammed also released a video of Adil Ahmed Dar with Jaish flags in the background.

On Friday, Shah Mehmood Qureshi had claimed that said Masood Azhar is “unwell to an extent that he cannot leave the house”.

“According to my information, he is very unwell. He is unwell to the extent that he can’t leave his house, because he’s really unwell,” he said.

The Pakistan foreign minister also said that Pakistan is ready to take action against Masood Azhar if there is evidence. “If they (India) have solid, inalienable evidence that is acceptable to courts of Pakistan, share it with us so that we can convince the people and we can convince the independent judiciary of Pakistan,” he said.


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