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Masood Azhar behind major terror acts in India

By R Dutta Choudhury
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GUWAHATI, May 2 - Declaration of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as a �global terrorist� by the United Nations is a major diplomatic and moral victory for India as after its initial reservations, China also agreed to it. But this may not force Pakistan to hand over Azhar to India to face trial for the acts of terrorism, for which he is the prime accused including the Pulwama terror attack, in which more than 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, highly placed sources in the Government of India said that Pakistan may not hand over Azhar to India to face trial, but the mere declaration of the terrorist leader as a �global terrorist� is a major diplomatic coup for India and it would put Pakistan on the back foot on the issue of providing shelter to terrorists. �It is definitely a major setback for Pakistan and the free movement of the terrorist leader in the neighbouring country will be restricted,� sources added.

Sources said that Azhar used to receive funds from foreign countries through non government and religious organizations, which are working as frontal organizations of the JeM. After the declaration of Azhar as a global terrorist, such organizations would also come under the scanner of the security agencies of different countries and there is every possibility that the flow of funds to the JeM would come down drastically in the days to come. Moreover, foreign investments of the JeM through its frontal organizations would also become difficult in future if such organizations come under scanner of the UN member countries.

However, sources admitted that declaration of Azhar as a global terrorist would not force Pakistan to hand him over to India. Sources said that Azhar is the prime accused in several major acts of terrorism in India including the Pulwama attack in Jammu and Kashmir, in which more than 40 CRPF personnel were killed. He was also the prime accused in the attack in the Pathankot air base and several other major terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir in recent years. Another terrorist outfit, Khuddam-ul Islam, which is known to be a wing of the JeM, is also involved in a number of terrorist attacks , particularly in Jammu and Kashmir. Being the prime accused in all such major cases of terrorism in India, Azhar should face trial in India but even after declaration of the terrorist leader as a global terrorist by the UN, it is doubtful whether Pakistan will hand him over to India to face trial. India does not have an extradition treaty with Pakistan, but even without such a treaty, it is possible to hand a terrorist wanted in major cases to India.

However, over the years, Pakistan has not been providing any help to India to deal with terrorism and this time also it is unlikely that Azhar will be handed over to face trial, sources admitted. In the past also, Pakistan simply refused to cooperate with India in such cases. Giving a few examples, sources said that Laskar-e-Taiba chief Hafeez Sayeed is the prime accused in the Parliament attack and Mumbai terror attacks and he is in the most wanted list of India. But Pakistan did not cooperate with India to bring him to justice. Moreover, after the major crackdown launched by the security forces to break the backbone of Indian Mujahideen (IM), several top leaders of the outfit managed to escape to Pakistan and they are still taking shelter in that country and the Government of Pakistan did not hand them over to India to face trial. A few senior leaders of the Khalistani terrorist groups are also taking shelter in Pakistan as they are not in a position to return to India, sources added.

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Masood Azhar behind major terror acts in India

GUWAHATI, May 2 - Declaration of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as a �global terrorist� by the United Nations is a major diplomatic and moral victory for India as after its initial reservations, China also agreed to it. But this may not force Pakistan to hand over Azhar to India to face trial for the acts of terrorism, for which he is the prime accused including the Pulwama terror attack, in which more than 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, highly placed sources in the Government of India said that Pakistan may not hand over Azhar to India to face trial, but the mere declaration of the terrorist leader as a �global terrorist� is a major diplomatic coup for India and it would put Pakistan on the back foot on the issue of providing shelter to terrorists. �It is definitely a major setback for Pakistan and the free movement of the terrorist leader in the neighbouring country will be restricted,� sources added.

Sources said that Azhar used to receive funds from foreign countries through non government and religious organizations, which are working as frontal organizations of the JeM. After the declaration of Azhar as a global terrorist, such organizations would also come under the scanner of the security agencies of different countries and there is every possibility that the flow of funds to the JeM would come down drastically in the days to come. Moreover, foreign investments of the JeM through its frontal organizations would also become difficult in future if such organizations come under scanner of the UN member countries.

However, sources admitted that declaration of Azhar as a global terrorist would not force Pakistan to hand him over to India. Sources said that Azhar is the prime accused in several major acts of terrorism in India including the Pulwama attack in Jammu and Kashmir, in which more than 40 CRPF personnel were killed. He was also the prime accused in the attack in the Pathankot air base and several other major terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir in recent years. Another terrorist outfit, Khuddam-ul Islam, which is known to be a wing of the JeM, is also involved in a number of terrorist attacks , particularly in Jammu and Kashmir. Being the prime accused in all such major cases of terrorism in India, Azhar should face trial in India but even after declaration of the terrorist leader as a global terrorist by the UN, it is doubtful whether Pakistan will hand him over to India to face trial. India does not have an extradition treaty with Pakistan, but even without such a treaty, it is possible to hand a terrorist wanted in major cases to India.

However, over the years, Pakistan has not been providing any help to India to deal with terrorism and this time also it is unlikely that Azhar will be handed over to face trial, sources admitted. In the past also, Pakistan simply refused to cooperate with India in such cases. Giving a few examples, sources said that Laskar-e-Taiba chief Hafeez Sayeed is the prime accused in the Parliament attack and Mumbai terror attacks and he is in the most wanted list of India. But Pakistan did not cooperate with India to bring him to justice. Moreover, after the major crackdown launched by the security forces to break the backbone of Indian Mujahideen (IM), several top leaders of the outfit managed to escape to Pakistan and they are still taking shelter in that country and the Government of Pakistan did not hand them over to India to face trial. A few senior leaders of the Khalistani terrorist groups are also taking shelter in Pakistan as they are not in a position to return to India, sources added.