PAK will act against Azhar if India gives proof: Qureshi


New Delhi:Pakistan can act against Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar only if India provides “solid, inalienable evidence” against him that can convince the country’s judiciary, foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said.Qureshi divulged this during an interview with the BBC after he was pressed about why Pakistan has failed to take any action against JeM despite it claiming responsibility for the Pulwama terror attack, in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed. The Pakistan foreign minister claimed that JeM had not said it was behind the terror attack and that “there was confusion over its role”. This, despite the JeM claiming responsibility through a statement issued by its spokesperson.

JeM spokesperson Muhammad Hassan in a statement on the day of the attack, Feb 14, said that “dozens of forces’ vehicles were destroyed”, and identified the driver who carried out the ‘fidayeen’ attack as Aadil Ahmad Dar alias Waqas Commando of Gundi Bagh, Pulwama. The terror group had also released a video of Dar, with Jaish flags in the background, in which he gave reasons for the attack in an anti-India rant.

But Qureshi maintained that Jaish’s hand in the attack was not clear, saying there were conflicting reports.
The Pakistan foreign minister yesterday said Pakistan did not want to escalate the recent tension with India blaming India for the attack on its territory. Qureshi told CNN that the Islamic Republic is ready to take any steps that could lead top de-escalation including action against Azhar, given that India provides “solid evidence”.

“Please sit and talk, please initiate a dialogue and we will show reasonableness,” Qureshi said in an interview to CNN. He also confirmed that Azhar is in Pakistan and keeping unwell. “He is in Pakistan, according to my information,” Qureshi was quoted as saying.

“If they give us evidence which is acceptable to the courts of Pakistan – after all, we will have to justify, they will go to the court – and if they have solid, inalienable evidence, share it with us so that we can convince the people and we can convince the independent judiciary of Pakistan,” he said.India handed over to Pakistan on Wednesday a dossier with information on JeM and its top leadership and their involvement in several terror attacks. The Pakistan government has said the dossier is being examined.


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