New Delhi (Sputnik): Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed, banned as a terror group in India, has become an Achilles heel for the Pakistani government.
In a major development, Pakistan's military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor has denied the existence of Jaish-e-Mohammed on Pakistani soil, saying that the outfit has no footprint in the country.
"Jaish-e-Mohammed does not exist in Pakistan. It has been proscribed by the UN and Pakistan also. Secondly, we are not doing anything under anybody's pressure," Major General Asif Ghafoor said in an interview with CNN.
Jaish-e-Muhammad does not exist in Pakistan, yet there is action against Jaish-e-Muhammad in Pakistan. 🤫 pic.twitter.com/pY7oK34NkV— Naila Inayat नायला इनायत (@nailainayat) March 6, 2019
He asserted that the Jaish-e-Mohammed's claim of responsibility for the Pulwama terror attack was not made from inside Pakistan.
In contrast, Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi last week had told BBC that Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Azhar Masood was in Pakistan and was not well. Qureshi had also admitted that the Pakistani establishment was in touch with Azhar.
Foreign Minister Qureshi messed up both the interviews given to CNN & BBC. When asked about Masood Azhar, he says he’s in Pakistan but quite ill to be arrested. What is FO on? https://t.co/EMbF4zI678— Faizan Khan (@Faizankhaan91) March 2, 2019
Gen Musharraf in his latest interview to Pakistani channel admits when he was #PakistanArmy chief, he didnt take concrete action against #JaisheMohammad as agencies under him said they were using such grps to carry out bombings in India— Taha Siddiqui (@TahaSSiddiqui) March 6, 2019
یہ جو دہشت گردی ہے#اس_کے_پیچھے_وردی_ہے pic.twitter.com/2m9IaSvmXU
Jaish leadership is not happy with the Pakistani establishment's crackdown on the terror outfit under international pressure, sources within Pakistan government told Sputnik.
"In fact, the present statement by Pakistani Military Spokesperson Major General Ghafoor denying the very existence of Jaish-e-Mohammed in Pakistan has been made under pressure from the Jaish leadership. It's a known fact that Pakistani Army and ISI had been using JeM and other terror outfits in the proxy war against India," Major General (Rtd) A K Siwach, a former Indian Army Officer told Sputnik.
"I came to know that even Jaish leadership has threatened to expose Pakistani Army and ISI if they do not provide safe havens to Jaish and its leaders," Major General (Rtd) Siwach added.
Meanwhile, Chinese vice-foreign minister Kong Xuanyou has met Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in an unscheduled meet.
#BREAKING: Chinese vice foreign minister Kong Xuanyou is on an unscheduled visit in Islamabad to discuss the Indo-Pak tensions after the Pulwama terror attack. Meets Pak FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi. Sources say they discussed UNSC 1267 Committee designation of Masood Azhar as well. pic.twitter.com/zdS4ORDQG6— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) March 6, 2019
The visit is said to be crucial ahead of the UN's listing of Masood Azhar as a global terrorist. Earlier, on all occasions, China had thwarted attempts in United Nations Security Council to designate Azhar as a global terrorist.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou meets Pak FM Qureshi. Will Mr. Kong's feedback decide Chinese position on listing Masood Azhar as an international terrorist next week? https://t.co/9YAFvrviMo— Atul Aneja (@atulaneja) March 7, 2019
Masood Azhar is the chief of JeM, a terror outfit that claimed responsibility for the recent terror attack at Pulwama, in Jammu and Kashmir on 14 February in which more than 40 Indian paramilitary forces were killed, leading to a serious conflagration, including aerial attacks and cross border shelling, between India and Pakistan.