Azhar not under house arrest: Pak

deepak pace

New Delhi, December 17
In a perpetual denial mode and contradicting his own defence minister Chaudhary Mukhtar Ahmad, Pakistan’s high commissioner to India Shahid Malik on Wednesday said Jaish-e-Mohmmad chief Maulana Masood Azhar, one of India’s most-wanted terrorists, was not under house arrest and his whereabouts were not known to them.
“We are looking for him. He is not under house arrest. As far as I know, it (news reports of Azhar’s house arrest) is wrong. He is not in Pakistan. We don’t know where he is,” Malik told Karan Thapar in “India Tonight” programme of CNBC-TV18.
He was responding to a question why Pakistan cannot hand over Azhar, who walked into freedom from an Indian prison in exchange for passengers of a hijacked Indian Airlines plane, as he was already in Pakistan custody.
Malik’s statement was in contradiction to Ahmad’s interview to a TV channel a week ago when he had said Azhar was placed under house arrest but said would not be handed over to India.
The high commissioner also said Dawood Ibrahim, the Indian underworld king, was also not in Pakistan as claimed by New Delhi.
Asked whether it would extradite the don if India provides proof of Dawood’s presence in Pakistan, Malik said, “(the) fact of the matter is that he is not in Pakistan.” Malik also claimed that country’s intelligence agency ISI has no links with LeT, which is believed to be behind the Mumbai terror attacks