Pak secretly releases Masood Azhar to execute terror strikes: IB

Pakistan releases Masood Azhar, terror attacks, Pulwama attack, Mumbai 26/11 attack, Indo-Pakistan border, Rajasthan, Article 370, Jammu and Kashmir
Azhar is the head of terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed that was responsible for the Pulwama attack on February 14, 2019, which resulted in the death of 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel. Photo: PTI.

The Intelligence Bureau (IB) has warned the Indian government that Pakistan has released notorious terrorist Maulana Masood Azhar from its protective custody to carry out terror operations, Hindustan Times has said in a report.

According to the intelligence report, Pakistan is planning “big action” in Sialkot-Jammu and Rajasthan regions as a supposed response to the abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that guaranteed special status to Jammu and Kashmir and the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories: Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s spy agency, had no idea that India would revoke Article 370, the report claimed. “It is being considered the ISI’s biggest intelligence failure in history and now they are under pressure to act,’’ Hindustan Times quoted an intelligence official as saying.

The intelligence report also stated that more Pakistani troopers have been deployed along the Rajasthan border between India and Pakistan to execute terror attacks. Hindustan Times has reported that the IB has asked the government to deploy additional Indian troops along the India-Pakistan border near the same region as a precaution against terror attacks.

Also read: Azhar, Saeed, Dawood, Lakhvi declared individual terrorists under UAPA

Officials claimed that the Border Security Force has also been informed and troops near Jammu and Rajasthan have been asked to stay alert.

Azhar had been declared a terrorist by the United Nations in May 2018. On September 4, 2019, India declared Azhar, Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Mumbai 26/11 terror attack accused Zaki-ur-Rehman-Lakhvi, and fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim individual terrorists under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

Azhar is the head of terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed that was responsible for the Pulwama attack on February 14, 2019, which resulted in the death of 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel. Unsubstantiated reports claimed that Azhar had been taken into custody after this incident.

He is wanted in India for several other attacks as well, one of which is the 2016 Pathankot airbase attack.

Earlier, the Indian Navy too had stated that an “underwater wing” of the terror organization Lashkar-e-Taiba had been planning to carry out attacks and that coastal security had been increased as a result.