Did Pakistan ever act against Azhar? Intel reports show, he remained protected always
New Delhi, Sep 09: In the aftermath of the Balakot airstrike, Pakistan had moved Jaish-e-Mohammad chief, Maulana Masood Azhar to a safe location.
Prior to stating that Azhar had been placed under protective custody, Azhar was undergoing treatment at the Army Hospital in Rawalpindi. Now intelligence reports state that he has been released from protective custody.
However, the question is whether Azhar was ever in protective custody. Indian officials tell OneIndia that they cannot confirm this information. It could well be a ploy and it may be recalled that he had addressed a rally at Bhawalpur, just before the Pulwama attack. He seemed fine then and it was only after the Pulwama attack that Pakistan claimed that he was very unwell and had been admitted to a hospital.
It may also be recalled that Pakistan's foreign minister had said that Azhar was very unwell. He is unwell to the extent that he cannot leave his house, because he is really unwell, the minister had also said in an intervention with CNN.
The Indian Intelligence says that he was moved out of Bhawalpur immediately after the Pulwama attack and asked to lie low. The ISI had advised both Azhar and Lashkar-e-Tayiba chief, Hafiz Saeed to lie low and also not address any public rallies as the heat on them was high.
Officials also explained that Pakistan cannot let go of Azhar at this crucial juncture. Firstly, he is their proxy in the war against India.
The latest on Azhar says that he has been told to oversee the operations of his cadres and plan strikes. The Intelligence has also conveyed to the security forces about the possible build-up of terrorists along with the border areas. Pakistan has been planning a major infiltration drive in the aftermath of India abrogating Article 370.
Officials tell OneIndia that the cadre of the JeM was extremely dejected with the arrest of their chief.
If Azhar is out, he can mobilise the outfit better and also plan and execute terror acts effectively.
Pakistan is on over-drive mode, following the abrogation of Article 370. Apart from planning a blood bath in Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan has also deployed over 100 Special Service Group commandos along the Line of Control (LoC).
There have been ceasefire violations that have been reported and the SSC Commandos have been involved in the same.
The intelligence has stated that Pakistan would be on over-drive mode and would not only look to raise tensions along the border but also launch terrorists into the Valley. With the government easing restrictions in a phased manner, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) has advised that the forces remain on a very high state of alert.
Recently, India designated Azhar and Lashkar-e-Tayiba chief as terrorists under the new anti-terror law. Both became the first two individuals to be banned under the amended Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Under the amended act, an individual can be designated as a terrorist. The government can impose a travel ban, seize passports and also confiscate their properties under the amended version of the act.