DEAD OR ALIVE? Jaish says Masood Azhar is alive, not dead

NEW DELHI: Dreaded Pakistan-based terrorist Masood Azhar is alive, not dead, a Jaish e Mohammed statement on Sunday evening said, after reports in Pakistan said he was dead. The reports had said he died of liver cancer, and that one of his brothers would take charge of the terror outfit as also its charity arm that is running several educational and philanthropic institutions. The reports had said Azhar died Saturday afternoon.

It had been reported earlier that he was under treatment in a military hospital and that he had ordered the Pulwama terror attack on CRPF convoy, from his hospital bed. 

The Pulwama attack has taken Pakistan and India on the brink of war. Azhar, aged 50, has been targeting India in the name of a fight for Kashmiri Muslims, and was based out of Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir since the early 1990s. The hijacking of an Indian plane by his close relatives led to his release from Indian jail in 1994 and he was in the forefront of anti-India fights from Pakistan ever since, with support from the military intelligence the ISI. 

Masood Azhar was son of a school headmaster, and had dabbled in journalism too before he joined the ranks of terrorism. He came to India in the early 1990s, suspectedly at the behest of the ISI, to organise violence in Kashmir. He had carried a Portuguese passport and entered India via Bangladesh border, but was caught a while later during a naka bandhi in Kashmir. IHN-NN

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