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Pakistan giving shelter to Masood Azhar regrettable: India

Masood Azhar   | Photo Credit: AP

It is “regrettable” that Masood Azhar continues to find shelter in Pakistan, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday after Pakistan rejected the charge-sheet of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) regarding the Pulwama terror attack. The Official Spokesperson of the Ministry noted that Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed had claimed responsibility for the attack that killed at least 40 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on 14 February, 2019.

“Jaish-e-Mohammed had claimed the responsibility of Pulwama attack. The organisation and its leadership is in Pakistan. It is regrettable that Masood Azhar, the first accused in the charge-sheet continues to find shelter in Pakistan,” said Anurag Srivastava, Official Spokesperson of the MEA, reminding Pakistan that Islamabad was yet to act on the 2008 Mumbai terror accused.

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Pakistan had on Wednesday “categorically” rejected the charge-sheet by the NIA, calling the report as “fabrications” that were “designed to further the BJP’s anti-Pakistan rhetoric and its narrow domestic political interests. The Indian charge-sheet accused Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar and his brother Abdul Rauf Asghar and their associates of “carrying out the attack”.

The Indian agency claimed explosives used in the attack came from Pakistan but Pakistan claimed the material was sourced from within the region of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Pakistan has not yet taken any credible action against perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attack of 2008, which resulted in the loss of 165 innocent lives, including 25 foreign nationals,” said the Indian Spokesperson.

Pakistan’s continued denial about the presence of Dawood Ibrahim on its soil was indicative of Pakistan’s insincerity, Mr. Srivastava said.

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“Pakistan has never taken any credible and verifiable action against terror entities or listed individuals, including the most wanted ones. This subsequent denial by their Foreign Office calls into question their intentions and it would not mislead the world community in believing its propaganda,” he said, urging Islamabad to act against the listed individuals.

On 18 August, Pakistan’s Foreign Office had issued a Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO), which declared that several resolutions of the UN Security Council had asked for an asset freeze of several organisations and individuals. The list also included the name of Dawood Ibrahim, who is wanted in India for his role in the 1993 Mumbai blasts. It was the first time that Pakistan had acknowledged the presence of Dawood Ibrahim on its soil, but Pakistan subsequently denied that the list confirmed this.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 5:32:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/pakistan-giving-shelter-to-masood-azhar-regrettable-india/article32459767.ece

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