New Delhi: In yet another contradiction by Pakistan, while its foreign minister has admitted that the chief of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), Masood Azhar, is very much in the country, its military has gone on record to say that the terror outfit does not exist on its soil, said reports on Thursday. (Also read: Imran Order Pakistan Army to ‘Respond to Aggression by India)Also Read - Masood Azhar Meets Taliban Leadership, Seeks Help For JeM Operation In Kashmir: Report
This statement of Pakistan Armed Forces spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor comes close on the heels of his Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi admitting that Masood Azhar was in the country. Also Read - It's Becoming Difficult to Supply 'Necessary Items': Top Jaish Commander Tells Terrorists in Kashmir
In an interview to CNN, Ghafoor said, “Jaish-e-Mohammad does not exist in Pakistan. It has been banned by the United Nations and Pakistan also. Secondly, we are not doing anything under anybody’s pressure.” Also Read - Another Jaish Terrorist Arrested From J&K's Pulwama by Security Forces
He added that the JeM’s claim of responsibility for the Pulwama attack had not been made from inside Pakistan. As far as India’s air strike in Balakot was concerned, he insisted that “their claims are false”.
The same day, JeM released an audio clip of Masood Azhar on an encrypted platform of the group, putting to rest all reports of his death. This is the second time that the terror organisation has rejected the claims.
The 10-minute audio was recorded on March 4, as stated in the clip. “There are reports about my death. But only God decides how long you live and when you die,” it reportedly has the JeM chief saying, as reported by News18.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Qureshi had maintained in his Parliament that the Pakistan Air Force jets shot down two Indian fighter planes.
In another discordant note, Pervez Musharraf, the former president of Pakistan, said during an interview to a Pakistani news channel that JeM was backed by intelligence agency ISI in carrying out bomb blasts in India.