'Fear God': JeM chief Masood Azhar releases audio clip warning Pakistan after 'crackdown' on terror groups

New Delhi: Hours after Pakistan announced the arrest of key Jaish-e-Mohammed leaders, the terror group's chief Masood Azhar Alvi issued a defiant message warning the country against efforts to rein in the internationally-proscribed jihadist group. The speech was released on Jaish-encrypted chat platforms early in the evening of 6 March.

“Fear god,” Azhar said in the speech. “And stop persecuting the mosques, madrassas and mujahideen. Remember, that when a Muslim flees the battle against the hypocrites, the wrath of Allah is upon him.”

Fear God: JeM chief Masood Azhar releases audio clip warning Pakistan after crackdown on terror groups

File image of Masood Azhar. AFP

He goes on: “Fear not only the world community; fear God too. God can protect you from the world community, but it cannot protect you from god.”

The speech also suggests that, in spite of the 6 March ban — and being held in what Pakistan describes as “preventive custody” since 2016 — Azhar remains active in affairs connected to the organisation. “Even as I was working on this speech,”, he stated, “Some work related to a congregation came up. My energies were diverted to writing a speech.”

In the speech, the Jaish chief addressed claims that he had been killed, or died, after India’s 26 February air strike on Balakot.

“There are reports the world over of my death. But, without doubt, God alone decides how long we are to live. Today is 4 March, 2019. The day has passed, Tuesday night is upon us, and I have no way of knowing whether I will be alive when you hear my words.”

Large parts of Azhar’s speech, peppered with anecdotes and personal stories, are devoted to mocking India and chiding Pakistan’s politicians for cracking down on the Jaish.

Prisoners at Jammu’s Kot Bhalwal jail, Azhar claimed, were often taken to an interrogation centre where he was “tortured for many days.” “When we were beaten,” he said. “We would try to suppress our screams. Then, one experienced prisoner told us we were making a mistake by doing this: if we screamed loudly, he said, the jailors would often ease up, fearful of killing you. I’ll share a story: we had a comrade with a particularly loud voice. As soon as a laathi fell near him, he let out such a shriek that the jailor ran away.”

“Today,” Azhar said. “This formula has been adopted by India: it is getting thrashed, but screaming so loudly that our leaders have started quaking.”

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Updated Date: Mar 07, 2019 12:12:08 IST

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