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4th reprieve for Masood Azhar

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While India continues beating the war drums

Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar has received a reprieve for the fourth time from being branded a global terrorist by the UN Security Council. In a note sent to it, China said it needed more time to examine the sanctions request targeting Azhar. Beijing had reminded the UNSC earlier this week that “a responsible solution” to the listing issue could come only through discussions. It had urged the international community to also focus on the Kashmir dispute while making such demands. “China’s position on the designation of a terrorist by the 1267 Sanctions Committee is consistent and clear,”

Masood Azhar’s name came into prominence in 1999 when Indian Airlines Flight 814 was hijacked en route from Kathmandu to New Delhi. After flying to various locations, including Amritsar, Lahore and Dubai, the hijacked aircraft ultimately landed in Kandahar in Afghanistan, which was under Taliban rule. The hijackers demanded the release of three Pakistani prisoners languishing in Indian jails, Mushtaq Ahmad Zargar, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and Masood Azhar. After negotiations, India released the three prisoners in exchange for its aircraft and passengers.

Later, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh was involved in the murder of American-Israeli journalist Daniel Pearl of the Wall Street Journal at Karachi. Sheikh, a British national of Pakistani origin, was apprehended and sentenced to death for Pearl’s abduction and murder. Masood Azhar, shortly after his release, made a public address to an estimated 10,000 people in Karachi. He proclaimed, “I have come here because this is my duty to tell you that Muslims should not rest in peace until we have destroyed India,” vowing to liberate the Kashmir region from Indian rule.

Masood Azhar went on to establish Jaish-e-Mohammad or the “Army of Mohammad”. The group’s........

© Pakistan Today