JeM chief Masood Azhar's brother confirms IAF strikes on Balakot terror camp, slams Imran for 'surrendering'

Firstpost obtained an audio tape — purportedly of Ammar — in which he claimed more suicide bombers are being prepared for operations in Jammu and Kashmir after the IAF attack on their Balakot facility

Yatish Yadav March 02, 2019 18:38:35 IST
JeM chief Masood Azhar's brother confirms IAF strikes on Balakot terror camp, slams Imran for 'surrendering'
  • There were reports that Maulana Ammar and Yousuz Azhar were killed in the Balakot air strike

  • Maulana Ammar called on JeM terrorists to launch suicide attacks

  • The Pakistani government has shied away from making any statement against JeM

New Delhi: The Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) has, for the first time, acknowledged that their Balakot madrassa Taleem-ul-Quran was attacked by the Indian Air Force (IAF) even as they issued a fresh warning to New Delhi. Maulana Ammar, brother of JeM chief Masood Azhar has also admitted that the madrassa was a training centre for jihadis.

JeM chief Masood Azhars brother confirms IAF strikes on Balakot terror camp slams Imran for surrendering

File photo of JeM chief Masood Azhar. AFP

Firstpost obtained an audio tape — purportedly of Ammar — in which he claimed more suicide bombers are being prepared for operations in Jammu and Kashmir after the IAF attack on their Balakot facility.

Ammar said: “India has declared war. They entered Pakistan territory and bombed the madrassa at Balakot. Indian Air Force did not bomb any agency or its headquarters, but the seminary where recruits are trained for jihad in Kashmir. By attacking our seminary, India has provoked us to relaunch our jihad.”

There were reports that Ammar and Yousuz Azhar, the JeM chief's brother-in-law, were killed in 26 February Balakot air strike. Azhar runs madrassa Taleem-ul-Quran, which is at the top of mount Jaba, around 100 kilometres from Islamabad, the country's capital. Ammar, who heads the JeM's operations in Afghanistan and Kashmir, was last seen in Peshawar in December 2018, where he vowed to continue attacks against USA and India.

At a jihadi recruit meeting, Ammar called on JeM terrorists to launch suicide attacks to avenge the Balakot bombing. Ammar also criticised the Pakistan government and Prime Minister Imran Khan for releasing Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was captured in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir after he chased and shot down a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet in an aerial dogfight on 27 February.

“There was a Niazi who gave away half the land and 90,000 soldiers and now today's Niazi (Imran) has surrendered before the enemy and by ensuring the return of Indian pilot has lost the battle,” Ammar purportedly said on the tape. The tape indicates the IAF strike dealt a severe blow to JeM and its leadership and the outfit is no longer able to run its recruitment and training drive in Mansehra and is shifting base.

At least two Pakistani ministers — Sheikh Rasheed and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi — admitted the presence of madrassa Taleem-ul-Quran and JeM chief Masood Azhar in Pakistan. Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad, Federal Minister for Railways in the Imran government, was the first to admit in the National Assembly that IAF attacked the JeM facility in Balakot.

However, the Pakistani government has shied away from making any statement against JeM and Masood Azhar or announcing that it will destroy terror outfits operating from its soil and eliminate their ability to carry out terror strikes. The deafening silence of Pakistan government on JeM and other outfits also shows the terror group’s vice grip on the levers of power in Islamabad. According to sources, India received tactical cooperation from various countries to corner Pakistan and reserves the right to hunt down terror threats inside Pakistan.

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