20 October, 2020

Whose Maulana Is He Anyway?

Masood Azhar's links with the ISI—or is it RAW?—gives him the shadowy contours of a double agent

Whose Maulana Is He Anyway?
Maulana Masood Azhar, Jaish-e-Mohammed's chief, is a much hated man in the Pakistani establishment following the October 1 fidayeen attack on the Srinagar assembly by a four-member squad belonging to his outfit. Many, including some mujahideen outfits here, allege that Masood works for raw and is out to embarrass President Musharraf at a time when Pakistan has joined the US in its fight against terrorism.

Paradoxically, it is hardly a secret in Islamabad that the Jaish operates with the isi's blessings. Though Masood's outfit was quick to back off from its earlier claim of responsibility for the Srinagar attack, reliable sources here claim the attack was planned and aimed to punish Pakistan for betraying Osama bin Laden and the Taliban. According to Pakistan-based diplomats of the Taliban, Masood is deeply indebted to Mullah Omar's regime for the support it extended to him during the hijacking of the Indian Airlines plane in December 1999. Masood was freed from an Indian prison in exchange for the passengers on the aircraft.

The Srinagar strike is being seen in...


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