Islamabad, Feb 19: Rehman Malik, the Pakistan Foreign Minister said that Dawood Ibrahim, the underworld don and Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar are not in his country. He said that Pakistan is not a land which will provide protection and refuge to criminals. He said that no formal request was received from India for their handover.
Pakistan continues to flip-flop regarding Azhar's existence there. Earlier Pak Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar had told an Indian news channel in Dec that Azhar was detained by Pak officials. Soon Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Foreign Minister said that Masood is not in custody and the terrorist was at large and wanted by Pakistan government itself.
Azhar, who was freed by India in exchange of passengers of Indian Airlines flight hijacked from Kathmandu to Kandahar in Dec 1999 reportedly fled to Pakistan and formed the Jaish-e-Mohammed soon after this release. Dawood Ibrahim is reportedly the sponsor of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks