There is big news doing the round from social media and some leading media houses. If sources are to be believed then JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar has died yesterday in the Army hospital in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
According to the sources he was suffering from liver cancer which resulted in his death. The Pak authorities have not given any official statement about the issue yet. This theory is being challenged by some who say that he was seen in the streets of Pakistan after the Pulwama attack. It is quite difficult for a person with critical illness to be roaming around with such normalcy. Also, there were no visible symptoms of radiation or chemotherapy if they were being administered.
Another set of rumors doing rounds are that Masood was severely injured during the air strikes done by the Indian Air force in Balakot. He was reportedly sleeping in one of these camps when India launched an attack on these camps. He was speculated to be on the ventilator and had passed away yesterday.
The last official statement was given by Pakistan’s Minister for foreign affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi that Azhar is critically ill and bedridden. Speaking to CNN, Qureshi had said, “He is in Pakistan. According to my information. He’s very unwell. He is unwell to the extent that he cannot leave his house.“It will be really interesting to note how the news will be reported by the Pak officials.
On February 26, 12 Mirage 2000 fighter jets of Indian Air Force (IAF) rained bombs at JeM’s biggest training camp inside Pakistan killing “a very large number” of terrorists and their trainers. The pre-dawn, ‘‘pre-emptive and non-military’‘ operation by the IAF was seen by many as India’s response to Pulwama terror attack.
Azhar’s brother later confirmed that the air strikes did take place at the terror camp of JeM at Balakot. He, however, tried to save Pakistan’s face by claiming that air strikes didn’t cause any damage to his cadre or family members.
An audio message issued by a senior leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed appears to confirm that Indian jets hit the militant training camp run by the Pakistan-based outfit in Balakot and inflicted significant damage, one of the clearest contradictions yet to Islamabad’s version that the Indian operation hit only a patch of trees.
The message bears the voice of Maulana Ammar, who has been identified as the brother of JeM founder Masood Azhar. It was first tweeted out by a Pakistani journalist who lives in France and has been verified by Indian security agencies, officials said.