When Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan says that he will act if he gets “any actionable intelligence,” not many will buy this at face value.
For, Pakistan has been sitting on “actionable intelligence” for quite a while when it comes to the Jaish-e-Mohammad — and hasn’t responded to several official requests for help against Jaish chief Maulana Masood Azhar.
In fact, Azhar was named by India in two key investigations: the 2001 Parliament and the 2016 Pathankot attacks.
Two Red Corner notices were issued against Azhar by the Interpol, first in 2004 for the attack on Parliament and in 2016 for his role in the Pathankot airbase attack. You can read the full text of Imran Khan’s speech here
Five persons including Afzal Guru, Shaukat Hussain Guru, both members of Jaish, were named by Delhi police in Parliament attack. Afzal Guru was convicted and hanged in 2013, Shaukat Guru’s sentence was reduced but no trial was held for Azhar. Azhar, released by India in exchange of the passengers and crew of the hijacked IC-814, is in Pakistan.
Another prime accused, identified as Ghazi Baba, was killed in an encounter with the Border Security Force (BSF) in Srinagar. Azhar was named by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in its probe into the airbase attack. After the Jaish’s role was established, a five-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) from Pakistan including an Additional IGP, a DIG, two Lt Colonels and one Inspector, offered assistance and visited India in 2016.
NIA, in its chargesheet, filed before the court noted, “The CIO of NIA requested them (JIT from Pakistan) in writing for providing relevant investigational assistance such as DNA samples of family members of the terrorist (killed inside Pathankot airbase), details of JeM and Al-Rahmat trust, questioning of Maulana Masood Azhar and other accused. They promised to revert back and also assured for reciprocal visit to Pakistan by Indian investigators. However, no reply was received till date.”
In December 2016, NIA sent a Letter Rogatory (LR) and an additional LR seeking assistance in its probe but no response has been received so far.
Besides Azhar, NIA named his younger brother, Mufti Abdul Rauf Asghar and Jaish members Shahid Latif and Kashif Jan in the chargesheet. Also named were four militants killed in the Pathankot airbase, all Pak nationals. On Tuesday, Imran Khan again offered Pakistan’s help to probe the role of its nationals into the Pulwama attack where 40 CRPF jawans were killed by a suicide attacker owing allegiance to JeM.
In its Pathankot chargesheet, the NIA said the outfit headed by Azhar, Jaish, has been designated as a terrorist organisation in Australia, Canada, USA, UK, UAE and the UN. “It was designated as militant organisation by United States by UN 1267 committee and Foreign Terrorist Organisation by US State Department in 2001,” the chargesheet said.
While New Delhi has been demanding a ban on Azhar before the UNSC, Beijing has vetoed the move.
In its dossier on Azhar given to the UNSC and Pakistan, New Delhi describes Maulana as a “Pakistan-based international terrorist and a leader of JeM, its chief financier, recruiter and motivator. It adds Azhar has been associated “with ISIL and al-Qaeda for participating in the financing, planning and perpetrating” terrorist attacks.
Listing Azhar’s role, New Delhi’s dossier says, “In early 1994, Azhar surfaced in Jammu and Kashmir to mediate between various feuding factions of terrorist groups active in the State. He was arrested in February 1994 by Indian security forces and charged for terrorist linkages.”
The funding for the JeM is derived from both business interests and the so called Islamic charitable foundations. According to the NIA chargesheet, the JeM-linked front includes Al-Rahmat trust which collects donations in the garb of helping families of mujahideen and has been seeking land in donation to build mosques in Lahore, Peshawar and Karachi.
JeM’s online mouthpiece, Al-Qama and Rang-o-noor, which promote anti-India propaganda were found to be hosted from Karachi, according to NIA’s chargesheet.