From plotting a hijack to creating the JeM, why Pakistan guards Masood Azhar so much
New Delhi, Aug 02: Jaish-e-Mohammad chief, Maulana Masood Azhar is undeniably one of the most protected persons in Pakistan. The history of the terrorist who is an accused in the 2001 Parliament attack and 2019 Pulwama bombing case is an interesting one considering the lengths Pakistan goes to protect him.
A Times Now Navbharat report said that Pakistan's deep state continues to provide a safe haven for several terrorists including Azhar. The report said that Azhar has two houses in Pakistan's Bahawalpur with one located next to the Osman-O-Ali-Masjid and the National Orthopaedic and General Hospital.
The jawans of the Pakistan army have been stationed outside the house to secure their most important proxy. This means that he is protected fully from an air strike like that happened in the case of Osama Bin Laden. He is surrounded by a Mosque, Hospital and several residential homes, which makes it virtually impossible to strike.
Azhar was found to be one of the main plotters of an assassination bid that involved former president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf. He fell out of favour with the establishment for a short while but was back in their good books in a few years time.
When it comes to Azhar, Pakistan has always gone that extra mile to safeguard him.
In the year 1994, the Indian agencies detained a 26-year-old in Srinagar who claimed to be a journalist. He had with him a Portuguese passport and at that time, none knew that one day he would turn out to be one of the world's biggest terrorists.
That was Maulana Masood Azhar, the chief of the Jaish-e-Mohammad has gone on to wreck havoc in India. He was sent to India to oversee the operations of the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen. He had no outfit of his own back then.
The ISI was however aware of his skills and it was his powerful oratory and convincing skills that made him such a favourite of the Pakistan spy agency. An officer, who has tracked Azhar tells OneIndia that he was a powerful speaker and could draw large crowds. He was a good organiser and this is what made him a favourite of the ISI.
After spending 5 years in custody, he was infamously released following the Kandahar hijack.
His brother Mohammad Rauf, who currently runs the outfit plotted the hijack with the help of the ISI.
After much drama, he was finally released. After he returned to Pakistan, he launched the Jaish-e-Mohammad. The outfit made an announcement when it attacked the Indian Parliament in 2001.
His relationship with the ISI has been blow hot blow cold. The JeM chief had a falling out when his outfit attempted to assassinate former Pakistan president, Pervez Musharraf. He fell completely out of favour with the establishment back then. However the establishment never seriously pursued the investigation and all those part of the incident went away scot free.