Pakistan releases JeM Chief Masood Azhar from custody: Report

Pakistan releases JeM Chief Masood Azhar from custody: Report

Agency News

New Delhi: Pakistan has secretly released Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar from protective custody, an intelligence report revealed.

Intelligence report also pointed out that the release is to plan deadly attacks in India. Pakistan’s latest move comes in the backdrop of India’s decision to scrap the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and divide it into two Union Territories — J&K and Ladakh.

The Indian Navy had recently warned that an "underwater wing" of JeM was training people to carry out attacks. Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh said all stakeholders in coastal security are ensuring that there is no intrusion from the sea. "We have received intelligence (input) that an underwater wing of Jaish-e-Mohammed is training people to carry out attacks from water and that is one change. "But we are fully prepared and will thwart any such attempt," he added.

Azhar was designated a terrorist by the United Nations in May 2019 and it was a huge victory for India after a decade of relentless efforts to ban the mastermind of several terror attacks against India, including the deadly Pulwama attack against Indian security forces. The listing subjected Azhar to an assets freeze, travel ban and an arms embargo.

Recently, India declared Azhar the first individual terrorist under the amended Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The Ministry of Home Affairs, through a gazette notification, declared Azhar, LeT founder Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, Mumbai 26/11 attack mastermind Zakir Ur Rehman Lakhvi and 1993 Bombay blast accused Dawood Ibrahim as terrorists, which means that irrespective of the organisation they are associated with, they will be treated as terrorists under the Indian law.