Pakistan's duplicity in dealing with terror outfits that are nurtured within its borders has been laid bare, this time with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi 's confession that the Pakistan leadership is in contact with Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a UN-designated terror organisation, that has been banned.
After providing safe haven to the world's most wanted man at one time, Osama bin Laden and currently 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed, Pakistan, has now confessed to being in touch with Masood Azhar's JeM while speaking to an international media organisation.
The admission comes on the same day when Pakistani Army took the perpetrator of Pulwama terror attack, Azhar under their blanket of protection by moving him to an Army hospital in Rawalpindi on Saturday.
Furthermore, despite JeM claiming responsibility through their official media channel, Pakistan government, far from a crackdown on this terror organisation, on the contrary has blatantly refused to accept JeM's involvement behind the barbaric attack and went on to say 'there are conflicted opinions' about it.
Here is the transcript from the interview:
Reporter: This crisis began with an attack on the Indian territory by a Pakistan-based militant group, Jaish-e-Mohammed.
Qureshi: We're not sure of that.
Reporter: You're not sure that JeM is Pak-based or that they have not claimed responsibility for it?
Qureshi: No, no..they have not claimed responsibility. There is confusion on that. The confusion is, the leadership had contacted them, they said no.
Reporter: The leadership has been contacted by whom?
Qureshi: By..you know..people over here, they deny, that's the confusion.
Reporter: Who's contacted with Jaish-e-Mohammed to Pakistan?
Qureshi: The people, the people who are known to them. They claim no responsibility.
Reporter: But they issued a press release on their official channel, we all saw it.
Qureshi: What I'm saying is, there is confusion, there are conflicted opinions.
On Friday, the same Minister from Imran Khan's cabinet admitted to being in touch with Masood Azhar. He noted that he is "unwell", but said the government can act against him only if India presents "solid" and "inalienable" evidence that can stand in a court of law.
India's evidence to Pakistan
Apart from Jaish-e-Mohammed themselves claiming responsibility to Pulwama, responding to Pakistan's offer to conduct the impartial investigation the Indian government on Wednesday handed over a dossier to Pakistan on "specific details" of involvement of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).
Republic TV accessed the details of the dossier:
"India submitted its dossier..., if India wants to conduct talks on this, then we are ready for it," Qureshi also said in the interview, but mentioned nothing further of conducting an investigation.
Pakistan's intimacy with terror
Pakistan's love affair with terror has been an age-old tale, with the country's history of fostering varied terror outfits, here are some of them are:
His remarks came days after the powerful UN Security Council comprising 15 nations, including Pakistan's key ally China, named JeM in a statement condemning in the "strongest terms" the "heinous and cowardly" terror attack perpetrated by the terror group in Pulwama and stressed on the need to hold organisers and financiers of such "reprehensible acts" accountable and bring them to justice.
Washington on Thursday asked Islamabad to 'abide by its UN Security Council commitments' to deny safe havens to terrorists and freeze access to their funds.
Along with that France became the first country who put out a stern message confirming to move a resolution at the UN to designate Azhar as a 'global terrorist'
Apart from that, across geographies following the Pulwama attack that martyred 40 Jawans, the global community has stood in solidarity with India to counter-terrorism.