The Pakistan Army, here on Wednesday, claimed that Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) ‘does not exist’ in the country, just four days after Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the Imran Khan government is in “touch” with the outfit’s chief Masood Azhar.
“Jaish-e-Mohammed does not exist in Pakistan. It has been proscribed by the United Nations and Pakistan,” Major General Asif Ghafoor, the Pakistani Army’s spokesperson, told CNN.
Just four days back, Qureshi had told BBC that the government had contacted the Jaish leadership after the Pulwama terror attack and it had denied responsibility.
The previous day, he had admitted that Azhar was very much “in Pakistan”.
“He (Azhar) is in Pakistan. According to my information, he is very unwell. He’s unwell to the extent that he cannot leave his house because he is really unwell. So, that’s the information I have”, Qureshi told CNN in an interview.
Ghafoor’s denial of existence of JeM in Pakistan, significantly, comes a day after the Ministry of Interior said it had taken into “preventive custody” Azhar’s brother and son in connection with suspected terror links.
Following the February 14 suicide bomb attack in Pulwama, which claimed the lives of over 40 CRPF personnel, there has been mounting global pressure against Pakistan to cease providing support and a safe haven to terror outfits and terrorists on its soil.
India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Syed Akbaruddin had recently shared a UN Security Council list dating back to 2001 confirming terror organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed’s location as Pakistan.
May I jog your memories ?
To all friends who think that @UN Security Council does not know where the Jaish-e-Mohammed is located, my humble submission is that issue was settled way back in 2001. https://t.co/V2RrVeWM4j pic.twitter.com/zEttbCV3qx
— Syed Akbaruddin (@AkbaruddinIndia) February 22, 2019
The UNSC list, dated October 19, 2001, highlights JeM as an associated entity of deceased terror mastermind Osama bin Laden, who was killed in a US mission in Pakistan’s Abottabad, in the list.