India Outraged At Masood Azhar’s Threat

India Outraged At Masood Azhar’s Threat

21 February 2014
The Hindu
Sandeep Dikshit

New Delhi: India reacted to Maulana Masood Azhar, founder of the banned Jaish-e Mohammed (JeM), recently speaking against India by stating that “as far as we are concerned, even one utterance of a threat against India, is one threat too many.” Mr. Azhar was among the militants taken to Kandahar by then Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh in 1999 in exchange for passengers and crew of a hijacked Indian Airlines plane. In the speech, Mr. Azhar vowed revenge for the execution of Afzal Guru for his involvement in the 2001 Parliament House attack. Speaking to newspersons, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin emphasised that Azhar belonged to an organisation banned not by only India but also by the United Nations Security Council and Pakistan. Pakistan responds Meena Menon reports from Islamabad: Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Tasnim Aslam on Thursday said that comments made by an individual belonging to a banned outfit should not concern India much. She was replying to questions posed to her at a weekly media briefing. “Yes, we have seen media reports that he has addressed a public meeting, but probably this is a one-time event. He escaped scrutiny and did it, but I am sure you are aware that his organisation is banned in Pakistan and their activities are monitored.” Ms. Aslam said one question that was not being asked was how Pakistan felt about the frequent provocative statements made by the Indian Army Chief. In response to a question on reports that Mr. Azhar was planning to address a university gathering in Punjab, Ms. Aslam said she would not comment on speculation. On Mast Gul, a terrorist who escaped after a gunfight at Charar-e-Sharif near Srinagar in 1995 and joined the Taliban, Ms. Aslam said if Mr. Gul had claimed responsibility for the Peshawar attacks then he was a threat to Pakistan and its people.