Pakistan Army asks Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed to lay low post Pulwama attack: Sources

The duo have been asked to maintain a low profile and avoid public appearances, sources told Zee Media.

NEW DELHI: Following immense international pressure over last week's Pulwama attack that claimed the lives of 40 jawans, the Pakistan Army has asked Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar and 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed to lay low. 

The country's military has asked the two internationally designated terrorists to maintain a low profile and avoid public appearances, sources told Zee Media.

On February 14, over 2000 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel travelling in a convoy of 78 vehicles on Jammu-Srimagar highway was attacked by vehicle-borne suicide bomber at Lethpora (near Awantipora) in the Pulwama district. The attack resulted in the death of at least 40 CRPF personnel and injured many others.

Terror outfit JeM claimed responsibility for the attack and Kashmiri local Adil Ahmad Dar was identified as the suicide bomber.

According to Indian intelligence agencies, the RDX used to attack the bus was procured by Pakistan Army in Rawalpindi and handed over to JeM operatives. The process of collecting RDX reportedly began in March 2018 and the explosives were smuggled using backpacks, cylinders and coal bags to Tral village of Pulwama. 

According to sources, about 80 kg of RDX was used by the terrorists in the attack, which included Ammonium Nitrate and other chemicals. 

India has long been demanding action against Masood Azhar, the founder-supremo of UN-designated terror outfit JeM, who allegedly operates out of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. New Delhi already has Azhar as one of its most wanted terrorists following the 2016 attack on Pathankot Air Force Station by JeM.

In a major boost to India's efforts to get Azhar on the list of global terrorists, France will be moving a proposal at the UN in a "couple of days" to ban the head of the UN-proscribed group, French sources said on Tuesday.

China, on the other hand, has refused to back India's request to list Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN.

Hafiz Saeed, the founder of banned terrorist outfits Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD), has also led several terrorist attacks targeting innocent lives across India.  

Despite international pressure, Pakistan has time and again sheltered these international terrorists under its belt.

Within 100 hours of the incident, the Armed forces killed three JeM terrorists, including top operatives Kamran and Abdul Abdul Rasheed alias Ghazi, believed to be the masterminds of Pulwama suicide bombing.

Ghazi is also said to have fought in Afghanistan and was handpicked by Azhar to avenge the killing of his nephews. An IED expert, he is believed to have been sent for the purpose of training locals.

Several nations across the world have condemned the Pulwama attack.

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