JeM Chief Masood Azhar Declared 'officially' Missing From Pakistan

13 April 2009

Islamabad: Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar who was once kept under house arrest in Bahawalpur in Pakistan has been mysteriously and 'officially' declared missing from the country, The Daily Times reports.Pakistani authorities had placed restrictions on the movement of Azhar, by confining him to his multi-storied concrete compound in the Model Town area of Bahawalpur. India had sought the arrest and extradition of Masood Azhar while citing a 1989 agreement signed by the director-general of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the director-general of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) which binds both the agencies to collaborate with each other, to trace out the most wanted terrorists and criminals and hand them over to their respective counterpart. Azhar is wanted by the Indian CBI for his alleged involvement in the 2001 attacks on Indian parliament which brought the two nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours to the brink of war. Azhar had been serving time in an Indian jail for Kashmir-related militancy but had to be released by the Indian government in 2000 in exchange for passengers of an Indian airplane which had been hijacked by some Kashmiri militants and taken to Kandahar. Soon after his release, he iscarded the Harkatul Mujahideen (HuM) to launch the Jaish-e-Mohammad.