Amid speculation that Jaish-e-Muhammed chief Masood Azhar may have been killed in the air strike by Indian Air Force (IAF) on Balakot – which was denied by Jaish – reports are coming that the Pakistani Army has shifted him to a Jaish camp in Goth Ganni in Bahawalpur. Reports also suggest that he was shifted from Rawalpindi base hospital to Jaish camp at around 7.30pm on Sunday, March 3.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan government has reportedly decided to launch a crackdown against Jaish while a media report said that Islamabad may even withdraw its opposition to the move to list him as global terrorist in the UN Security Council.
"The government has decided in principle to launch crackdown on the leadership of the Jaish (Azhar)," the source told PTI. He said the action against JeM in the country is "expected any time soon".
"In order to de-escalate the tensions between India and Pakistan, the Imran Khan government has planned action against the JeM," the source said. According to a media report, a security official hinted that Pakistan may withdraw its opposition to the listing of JeM chief as global terrorist by the UN Security Council.
The 50-year-old Azhar, who was released by the NDA government in 1999 in exchange of hostages of the hijacked Indian Airlines plane IC-814, has been accused of being the mastermind of the 2001 Parliament attack, suicide attack on Jammu and Kashmir state assembly, attack on Pathankot IAF base and the latest Pulwama terror strike.
Meanwhile, Intelligence agencies in New Delhi were trying to ascertain reports on the social media about the death of Azhar in Pakistan. The Indian officials said they had no information other than that Azhar was undergoing treatment at an army hospital after suffering renal failure.
Jaish terror group's Balakot camp, where training was imparted to recruits to carry out suicide attacks, was targeted by the IAF in an air strike last week, following the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed. The Indian government has claimed that it achieved a spectacular success by destroying the facility.
With Agency Inputs