With all indications pointing towards China releasing a technical hold on Masood Azhar's designation as a global terrorist, Pakistan is reportedly set to detain the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief.
Sources in the Pakistani government have revealed that the Azhar could be taken into custody almost immediately after - and if - China decides to lift its technical hold on the move to designate him as a global terrorist. All pending FIRs against Azhar could also be investigated.
Pakistani media also reported that the country's Foreign Office has scheduled a press briefing for late Wednesday in this regard.
India has been demanding that Azhar be declared a global terrorist but the move at the United Nations has so far been blocked by China. Previously, it was suspected that China's technical hold on the matter may be because of its close relations with Pakistan, a country known to harbour and support terrorists like Azhar. On Tuesday, however, China's foreign ministry said that 'relevant consultations' in the matter have 'achieved some progress and that this issue can be properly resolved.'
China relenting and releasing its technical hold could be a big win for India, especially after JeM claimed responsibility for the dastardly Pulwama attack in February. It could also mean a massive snub for Pakistan which has gone to the extent of allowing Azhar's close relatives to contest in elections here. Detaining and investigating Azhar could be the only choice left for the Imran Khan government if and when the world community officially designated him as a global terrorist.