New Delhi: Masood Azhar, the chief of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and the mastermind of several dastardly terror attacks in India, is now bed-ridden with a life-threatening condition, a Hindustan Times report quoted Indian intelligence officials as saying.
According to the report, the 50-year-old wanted terrorist is suffering from ailments that have affected his spinal cord and kidney.
The report further cited official saying that Azhar has been confined to bed for the last 1.5 years and is believed to be undergoing treatment for his spinal cord and renal condition at the Combined Military Hospital in Rawalpindi.
While the officials could not confirm Azhar’s illness, they said that he has not been sighted in public anywhere in Pakistan since a long time.
The repeated attempts by India, along with other countries like the US, France, and Britain to get Azhar designated as ‘global terrorist’ by the United Nations have been stonewalled by China, which has cited lack of consensus among the members of the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council.
China is the only country which has been opposing the proposal to designate Azhar in the list.
Responding to the report of Azhar’s illness, a senior-counter-terrorism official said that now India does not need to “give concessions to Beijing over designation of Azhar as global terrorist as he has been struck with debilitating illness”.
Azhar has masterminded several terror attacks in India including the attack on Parliament in 2001, the 2005 attack in Ayodhya, the 2016 attack on Pathankot airbase and the recent Sunjuwan terror attack.
Azhar was one of the three militants released by the Centre in exchange for passengers of the Indian Airlines plane hijacked from Kathmandu to Kandahar in southern Afghanistan in December, 1999.
After his release along with two other terrorists — Sheikh Omar and Mushtaq Zargar, Maulana Masood Azhar formed Jaish-e-Mohammed, believed to be responsible for many terror incidents, including the 2001 attack on Parliament.