One of the most wanted terrorists in the world, especially by India, Maulana Masood Azhar, Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) chief, has made some claims in an obituary of Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansur, Taliban chief who was killed in a US drone strike in May, in which he alleged that India sought to arrest him through the Taliban. Azhar was released by India in exchange for the passengers of a hijacked Indian Airlines jet. Here, in his own words, are the top 5 points he made in a post under his pen name Saidi in the June 3 issue of Al Qalam Weekly, which is considered the Jaish’s online mouthpiece.
1. Maulana Masood Azhar claimed that India had offered money to the then Taliban government to arrest and hand him over after they were exchanged for passengers and crew of the hijacked Indian Airlines flight IC-814 at Kandahar in 1999. The offer, according to Azhar, was made by then External Affairs minister Jaswant Singh to Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansur who was then the civil aviation minister of Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
2. Azhar wrote: “Once I had a meeting with Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansur at Kandahar airport. He took the guests to the VIP lounge… Mullah sahib made me sit next to him on the sofa. Then he told me that Indian foreign minister Jaswant Singh sat on the same sofa when he brought you to drop you at Kandahar.”
3. Azhar added: “… he (Mansur) started repeating the story of that day with a lot of pleasure. He said that Jaswant Singh had told him that our prisoners (Azhar, Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar and Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh – all of them were released by India during the hijack) would still be in Afghanistan and you arrest them and hand them over to us, hum aap ki hukumat ko malamaal karengey (we will make your government rich).’’
4. Quoting Mansur further, Azhar wrote: “…’I (Mansur) told him that if you are able to return (to India) safely, even that would be a big thing’.”
5. Azhar also wrote that Mansur was the amir-ul-mumineen (leader of the believers) and that his killing was an attack on the chest of the Muslim “Ummah (nation)”. “Whether they are in Iran, Afghanistan or Pakistan, Allah will unveil all those who are guilty of this attack,’’ he wrote. Ominously, Azhar also wrote that with the killing of Mansur, “all the enemies have struck and now it is the turn of the Muslims” and “hopefully, the world would witness strange scenes soon”.