Taliban spox denies Masood Azhar’s presence in Afghanistan

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Kabul confirm tension on border with Pakistan

Following Pakistan’s letter to Kabul seeking to locate, report, and arrest Maulana Masood Azhar — the head of the banned Jaish-e-Mohammed — the Taliban government on Wednesday denied his presence in Afghanistan.

On September 13, Pakistan wrote to Kabul asking to arrest the JeM chief, stating that he was hiding somewhere in the Taliban-led country.

In the letter, Pakistan wrote that Azhar was possibly residing in two different Afghan provinces — Nangarhar and Kunar.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesperson for the Taliban, said that the banned outfit’s chief is not in Afghanistan, but in Pakistan.

Islamabad formally banned JeM on terrorism charges on January 14, 2002, during General (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s rule in Pakistan.

After 17 years of ban on JeM, the Interior Ministry — after receiving credible intelligence — banned two more organisations named Al-Rehmat Trust, Bahawalpur and Al-Furqan Trust, Karachi on May 10, 2019.

Defunct JeM chief Azhar being a suspected terrorist also remained part of schedule four of the Anti Terrorism Act 1999. He has allegedly planned multiple terrorist activities in different places. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) confirmed on Wednesday that the IEA and Pakistani military were involved in a clash along the international border.

According to IEA Deputy Spokesperson Bilal Karimi, the clashes took place in Dand Patan area in Afghanistan’s Paktia province.

Karimi said on Twitter that military facilities, “in principle”, should not be built close to the Durand Line. He further said that a day earlier, the “Pakistani military sought to build an outpost there.”

“Some Islamic Emirate members went to talk to them, but Pakistani soldiers opened fire which caused casualties,” the spokesperson added.—Agencies

 

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