Pakistan asks Taliban to trace, arrest JeM chief: Report

Islamabad: The foreign ministry of Pakistan has written a letter to the Taliban in Afghanistan to trace and arrest Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar, Pakistani media reported. Pakistan has been facing pressure from Western powers to act against Masood Azhar, a UN-designated terrorist.

Pakistan has written a letter to the Taliban’s foreign ministry, asking authorities in Afghanistan to locate and arrest Azhar. Masood Azhar was named as the mastermind of the February 2019 Pulwama suicide attack, which resulted in the killing of 40 CRPF soldiers.

Maulana Masood Azhar is ‘mostly likely hiding’ in Nangarhar province or Kunar province of Afghanistan, the letter said, Pakistani media reported.

In June this year, Western nations strongly backed India’s call for the investigation and prosecution of 30 terrorist leaders, including Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed and operative Sajid Mir, allegedly involved in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

FATF has forced Pakistan to take action against some UN-designated terrorists if it wants to get out of the grey list.

India had freed Masood Azhar in exchange for passengers of an Indian Airlines flight that was hijacked from Kathmandu to Kandahar in December 1999. He was designated a global terrorist after the Pulwama attack in Jammu and Kashmir in February 2019.

It is to be noted that Pakistan had claimed that LeT operative Sajid Mir was dead before authorities confirmed his arrest earlier this year.

No Modi-Shehbaz meet on SCO sidelines

New Delhi: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has no plans to meet his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) being held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, this week.

“No meeting is envisaged with the Indian Prime Minister,” Foreign Office spokesman Asim Iftikhar told Dawn news. An official said though a brief courtesy meeting between the two was possible, they would not be holding talks saying none of the two sides have sought a meeting.

The Foreign Office in a statement, however, confirmed that Prime Minister Sharif would attend the 22nd annual Meeting of the Council of Heads of State (CHS) of SCO.

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