Taliban junk Pak reports on Masood Azhar, say could hit ties | India News

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Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) chief and UN proscribed terrorist Maulana Masood Azhar’s whereabouts seemed to have turned into a serious bone of contention between the Taliban and Pakistan with the former emphatically denying reports from Islamabad that Azhar, among India’s most wanted, was in Afghanistan.
Taliban’s head of political office in Doha and UN ambassador-designate Suhail Shaheen told GLOBAL PRABHAT that Azhar’s outfit is Pakistan-based and the claim that he is in Afghanistan is without evidence and specific details about his whereabouts. “We don’t have knowledge about his presence, nor do we allow anyone to use the soil of Afghanistan against any other country,” said Shaheen. He rejected “media reports” from Pakistan asserting that Azhar had sought refuge in Afghanistan. “We call on all parties to refrain from such allegations lacking any proof. Such media allegations can adversely affect bilateral ties,” he said.

Pakistan foreign office was earlier reported to have written a letter to the Taliban government saying Azhar had taken shelter in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. This apparent attempt to shift the responsibility for detaining Azhar is being seen as linked to the likely decision of the global terror financing watchdog FATF next month on whether to remove Pakistan from the ‘Grey’ or ‘Increased Monitoring’ list.
Significantly, India again slammed Pakistan at the UNHRC on Wednesday for its terror links saying it’s “well-documented” that the largest number of internationally-proscribed terrorists have been operating with impunity on Pakistani soil. Rejecting the “factually incorrect and unwarranted” references to India also by the OIC, the government regretted that the OIC countries, with whom India shares close ties, had failed in preventing Pakistan from misusing OIC platforms to push anti-India propaganda.

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“Considering its own top leadership has in the past openly acknowledged creating terrorist groups and training them to fight in Afghanistan and the Indian UT of Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan’s audacity, as a self-styled torchbearer for human rights of the people of India, is appalling,” said Pawan Badhe, first secretary in India’s permanent mission in Geneva.

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