Maulana Masood Azhar, chief of Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), who is wanted by India for Pathankot Air Base terror attacks in the country, has claimed that the Indian Government had offered money to Taliban government in Afghanistan to arrest and handing him over. He also claimed that India made the offer soon after it was forced to release Azhar in exchange for passengers of the hijacked Indian Airlines Flight 814.
Azhar revealed this in an obituary he wrote on slain Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansur ,which was published on the JeM’s mouthpiece Al Qalam Weekly under his pen name Saidi.
According to the Azhar, then External Affairs minister Jaswant Singh made the offer to Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansur, the then civil aviation minister of Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
Azhar in his piece recalled how he, Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar and Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who were also released along with him on December 31, 1999, were personally received by Mansur at the Kandahar airport. Mansur then allegedly drove them from the airport in his white Land Cruiser.
“I had met Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansur once at Kandahar airport. The airport was under his ministry. I was part of a delegation from Karachi and Taliban had provided a plane to bring our delegation from Kabul to Kandahar. We were welcomed by Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansur. He took the guests to the VIP lounge and he made me sit next to him on the sofa. It was then he told me that Indian foreign minister Jaswant Singh sat on the same sofa when he brought you to drop at Kandahar,” Azhar wrote.
Azhar then writes how Mansur told him about his conversation with Jaswant Singh. “He started repeating the story of that day with a lot of pleasure. He said that Jaswant Singh had told him that our prisoners would still be in Afghanistan and asked him to arrest them and hand them over to India and it would make the Taliban government very wealthy.”
The JeM chief said the killing of Mansur was an attack on Islam and that “Allah will unveil his wrath on all those who are guilty of this attack.’’ He made a cryptic threat in the obituary and said “all enemies have struck and now it is the turn of the Muslims, hopefully, the world would witness strange scenes soon”.