Jaish-e-Mohammed Chief Masood Azhar Is "Not Dead", Says Pak Media Report
India's most wanted terrorist and Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar is "alive", a Pakistani media report said on Sunday, quoting unnamed sources close to his family. The media reports claiming that JeM leader is dead are false, Geo Urdu News reported. The report came amid speculation on social media that JeM founder has died. However, there was no official confirmation.
Quoting unnamed sources close to the family of the JeM chief, the channel said Azhar is "alive", without elaborating on his health condition.
There was no official word on Masood Azhar's fate from the Pakistan government.
"I don't know anything at this moment," Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry told PTI when asked about media reports claiming the death of Azhar.
A resident of Bahawalpur in Pakistan's Punjab province, Azhar formed the Jaish-e-Mohammed in 2000.
The 50-year-old Azhar, who was released by the NDA government in 1999 in exchange of hostages of the hijacked Indian Airlines plane IC-814, has been accused of being the mastermind of the 2001 Parliament attack, suicide attack on Jammu and Kashmir state assembly, attack on Pathankot IAF base and the latest Pulwama terror strike.
Meanwhile, Intelligence agencies in New Delhi were trying to ascertain reports on the social media about the death of Masood Azhar in Pakistan.
The Indian officials said they had no information other than that Masood Azhar was undergoing treatment at an army hospital after suffering renal failure.
Jaish terror group's Balakot camp, where training was imparted to recruits to carry out suicide attacks, was targeted by the IAF in an air strike last week, following the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.
The Indian government has claimed that it achieved spectacular success by destroying the facility.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi earlier admitted that the JeM chief is in his country and is "very 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.
"He is in Pakistan, according to my information. He is unwell to the extent that he can't leave his house, because he's really unwell," Shah Mehmood Qureshi said.
The US, the UK, and France last week moved a fresh proposal in the UN Security Council to designate Azhar as a global terrorist, a listing that will subject him to the global travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo.
Is news of death of Masood Azhar is just a propaganda run by Pakistani media?
Ex-Biju Janata Dal Leader Jay Panda To Join BJP Today
Baijayant Jay Panda, who quit Odisha's ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) last year, is likely to join the BJP shortly, sources said on Monday. Jay Panda, 55, quit the BJD last May after a bitter falling out with his party chief, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
The owner of a large conglomerate with interests in mining, power and real estate, Jay Panda had been a parliamentarian of the BJD since 2000 and had been among the party's most prominent leaders from Odisha.
The switch may hurt Naveen Patnaik's party in Odisha ahead of the national and state elections, especially with the BJP making inroads into the state.
Jay Panda's troubles with his party boss peaked when he was suspended on "disciplinary grounds" after he appeared to openly challenge the leadership after a poor performance in local polls in 2017. He was removed as the BJD's parliamentary party spokesperson over an article he wrote shortly after Panchayat or rural body polls, alleging that the party was being run by "opportunists".
The BJP had emerged the second-largest party in the polls, gaining at the cost of the BJD.
The rift widened and became so deep that he was hit with eggs and slippers by party workers loyal to Naveen Patnaik at a meeting.
The party stopped short of expelling the four-time lawmaker though he alleged a conspiracy by a rival leader to remove him.
Jay Panda's attacks intensified after the BJD ordered a probe against him on the complaint of some local leaders about his "behavior".
Will there be any impact on Biju Janata Dal?
Will the Modi government show a big heart on old pension like OROP?
On 3rd March, retired paramilitary forces and organizations associated with different parts of the country will be going to Jantar Mantar with their demands. There is a demand from the government of these retired soldiers that the old pension scheme is applicable. Actually, the first paramilitary forces got pension under the old pension scheme, but in 2004, the NDA government of Atal Bihari Bajpayee expelled many government services people, including paramilitary forces. After this, the retired paramilitary forces demanded to restore the old scheme from different organizations but in the past few years, this demand has increased.
This demand of the paramilitary forces got faster when in 2015 the government announced one rank, one pension scheme (OROP). The OROP plan is for retired soldiers. Under this, it was said that the same rank should be given equal pay to the soldiers of the same rank who retired after completing the same period of time at different times.
This scheme was implemented in 2016 but it is effective from 2014. That is, this pension scheme is applicable from 2014. Widows and ex-servicemen of about 3 million soldiers benefit from this scheme. However, under this scheme, the pension is re-fixed every five years in the future. At the same time, the soldiers who voluntarily retire (VRS) do not get the ORP. There will be no retired soldiers due to injuries in the war.
A notification was issued by the Ministry of Defense in 2015. It was informed in the notification that the previous government had announced the provision of Rs 500 crore in the budget to implement One Rank One Pension. The present government took this work on a priority basis and found that the annual additional expenditure for this would be Rs 8 to 10 thousand crores which will increase further in the future. While presenting the interim budget on February 1, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said in his speech that under the One Rank, One Pension, the government has so far given 35 thousand crores to retired soldiers.
Demand for the old pension scheme of paramilitary forces in the country is getting faster now. Retired paramilitary forces are coming to Jantar Mantar of Delhi to pressurize the government. At the same time, the opposition parties, including the Congress, have begun to support the demands of paramilitary forces. This means that it can be an important issue before the Lok Sabha elections. It will be important to see if the Modi government considers the demands of retired paramilitary forces or not.
Do you think Modi will fulfill their demand?
IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman to Return Via Wagah Border Today
Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman is expected to return to India on Friday via the Wagah Border after Pakistan Prime Minister’s sudden announcement of his release as a “gesture of peace” in an address to the country’s parliament on Thursday.
The IAF pilot was taken into custody by Pakistan on Wednesday after he landed on the other side of the Line of Control as his aircraft crashed during an aerial dogfight between India and Pakistan.
"In our desire of peace, I announce that tomorrow, and as a first step to open negotiations, Pakistan will be releasing the Indian Air Force officer in our custody," Khan said on Thursday as Pakistani parliamentarians stamped their feet in approval.
Aerial combat between Indian and Pakistani fighter planes Wednesday had caused global concern, with several world leaders urging both countries to take a step back and deter the possibility of an escalation.
The central government had demanded the safe and immediate return of the pilot in a statement and made it clear that it was not seeking consular access to him.
"We are happy that our pilot who had fallen across the Line of Control and was in the custody of Pakistan is being released. We are extremely happy to have him back. We only see it as a gesture which is in consonance with the Geneva Conventions," Air Vice Marshal R G K Kapoor, the assistant chief of Air Staff, told a news conference.
Government sources said a team of Indian Air Force officials will receive Wing Commander Abhinandan at the Wagah border on Friday evening. The parents of the Wing Commander had arrived in Delhi on Thursday night and will go to Amritsar to welcome him. Abhinandan is the son of Air Marshal (Retd) Varthaman.
Citing official sources, news agency IANS reported that the Border Security Force (BSF) has not been told 'the exact time and sequence regarding the release of the captured IAF pilot'.
"The pilot is likely to be brought by Pakistani authorities from Rawalpindi to Lahore and handed over first to the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) under rules of the Geneva Convention before being brought to the JCP between 12 noon and 2 p.m. to return home. He will be debriefed by defense and security officials after his return," IANS reported citing sources.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not make any direct reference to Abhinandan's release, addressing a gathering at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi, he said that a 'pilot project has been completed'. His remarks were received with thunderous applause from the audience.
Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has offered to receive Wing Commander Varthaman at the border.
Several countries like UK, France, and Australia also urged restraint and built up pressure on Pakistan to de-escalate tensions, and welcomed Pakistan’s move to release the IAF pilot.
“We welcome Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's commitment that Pakistan will release on Friday the Indian pilot held in its custody,” a US State Department spokesperson said while responding to a question on the announcement made by Khan in the Pakistani parliament.
Is this decision a gesture of peace or pressure?
Dossier sent from India with all evidence about Pakistan's involvement in Pulwama's attack, Pak considering to send back Indian pilot
Dossier sent from India with all evidence about Pakistan's involvement in the attack of Pakistan's Pulwama terrorist attack has got Pakistan. Pakistan's Foreign Ministry has confirmed this. Pak Foreign Ministry has said that the decision about India's arrested pilot will be decided in the next few days. The Pakistani Foreign Minister says that if returning to Indian pilot, tension is reduced in both the countries, then he can consider it.
Pakistan's Foreign Ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammad Faizal has confirmed that Dossier has met on Thursday about the Pulwama attack. He said that the authorities have not analyzed this dossier right now, and if sufficient evidence is received then action will be taken on the instructions of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
He said that the decision about what will happen to the Indian pilot arrested in Pakistan will be decided in the next few days. He said that Indian Pilots' are safe and healthy.
He said that Pakistan believes that entering Indian aircraft in our airspace is only an attack on our 'military installations'. But the air strikes that Pakistan made was on non-military targets.
Significantly, after the statement of US President Trump, there is hope for some improvement in the situation of war between India and Pakistan. The US president in Hanoi in Vietnam has said that good news is coming from India and Pakistan, the ongoing tension between the two can end soon. The US claims that he is playing the role of mediator in all this.
US President Donald Trump said, "I think the good news will come from India and Pakistan. We are arbitrating in solving this issue. We hope that these tensions going on for centuries will soon end.
On February 14, 40 CRPF personnel were martyred in the fidayeen terror attack in Pulwama, Kashmir. In response, India had entered into Pakistan and carried out air strikes on the terror bases. India had penetrated the border of Pakistan and destroyed Jaish-e-Mohammad's terrorist bases. This strike of India had a huge loss in the Balakot of Pakistan. After which the Pakistani Air Force had violated the Indian Air Force on Wednesday. However, India expelled Pakistani aircraft and demolished one of its F16