New Delhi: Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar has rejected the reports about his health and losses incurred by the terrorist organisation in pre-emptive strike by India in Pakistan’s Balakot. Terming them as false in a purported column, he reportedly wrote, “Nothing like that. All are alive and all is well”.Also Read - Yasin Malik in Court Hearing: Atal Bihari Vajpayee Allotted Passport To Me
The claim was reportedly made by the Jaish chief in a column of JeM’s weekly paper Al-Qalam for which he writes under the name of Saadi. While, the authenticity of the column could not be established but as per a report in Hindustan Times, Al-Qalam is widely known as the mouthpiece of the terrorist organisation and Saadi a pseudonym of Azhar. Also Read - 3 JeM Terrorists Neutralized By Security Forces In Overnight Encounter In J-K's Budgam
The Indian Air Force (IAF) in February had carried out air strikes on JeM terror camps in Balakot of Pakistan, killing over 300 terrorists. The strike came in retaliation to the dastardly Pulwama terror attack in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans were killed as an explosive-laden vehicle rammed into a bus in the convoy in south Kashmir on February 14. Also Read - Pakistan Failed To Prosecute Terrorists, Including 2008 Mumbai Attack Mastermind Masood Azhar: US Report
To avenge the Balakot strike, Pakistan violated the Indian air space in Nowshera and Poonch sectors of Jammu and Kashmir. However, the PAF jets were pushed back by India.
The Jaish chief further challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a shooting or archery competition to ‘prove how fit he is’. He wrote, “Unlike Narendra Modi, I am fully fit. I challenge him to a game or archery or a shooting competition to prove I am more fit than he is.” Claiming that he is ‘fit and fine’, he asserted that for years he had never been to a hospital nor consulted a doctor, he said, “I am fully well. My kidney and liver are perfectly fine.”
This is not the first time that the reports on the health condition of Masood Azhar have been rejected by the terror organisation. Earlier, the outfit in Pakistan had released a statement saying, “He is alive and doing well.”
On March 4, a provincial minister in Pakistan’s Punjab Fayaz-ul-Hasan Chohan had refuted the reports of the demise of JeM chief. “He is alive, Masood Azhar is alive, we have no information of his death,” Chohan had reportedly said.
The death reports of Azhar came days after Pakitan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi admitted,”He (Masood Azhar) is in Pakistan, according to my information. He is unwell to the extent that he can’t leave his house, because he’s really unwell.”