Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar visited Kandahar in the third week of August to meet the Taliban for seeking their support in inciting terror in Jammu and Kashmir, a report published by India Today said.
Citing sources, the report said Maulana Masood Azhar met Taliban leaders, including Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the head of the political committee. Azhar has reportedly asked for help from the Taliban to foment unrest in the Kashmir Valley and help JeM for its operations in the Indian Union Territory.
Reportedly, Masood Azhar also conveyed his happiness for the Taliban’s “victory” after they formally took control of Afghanistan following the seizure of Kabul on August 15. As per sources, the terror chief has lavished praises on the Taliban for ousting the “US-backed Afghanistan government”. Even in their write-up titled “Manzil Ki Taraf”(towards the destination) on August 16, the JeM chief commended the terror group for the success of their “mujahideen” against the western forces.
Besides, congratulatory messages were also being exchanged between the JeM functionaries at its Markaz(headquarters) at Bahawalpur in Pakistan after the Taliban took over Afghanistan.
It is worth noting that the Taliban and Jaish-e-Muhammad share the same ideological fountainhead—the Deobandi School of Sunni Islam. Jaish-e-Muhammad has been carrying out terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of India after it was founded by Masood Azhar in 1999.
Azhar was languishing in an Indian jail when an Indian Airlines flight IC 814 was hijacked by Pakistani terrorists, who got the plane to the Talibani controlled Kandahar. They demanded the release of Masood Azhar and other terrorists in exchange for the safety of passengers who were on the flight when it was hijacked while it was on its way from Kathmandu to Lucknow.
According to the reports, soon after the Pakistani terrorists got the Indian flight landed in Kandahar, the Talibani terrorists created a perimeter around the airbus, ensuring that they remain in control of the situation till terrorists, including Masood Azhar, were released by the Indian government.
The return of the Taliban to power in Afghanistan has obviously raised concerns among Indian security experts, who believe the JeM and other Pakistan-based terror outfits might benefit from the rise of their ideological counterpart in the neighbouring country. The Taliban had recently vowed that it won’t allow its territory to be used for terror activities, but like its other promises, it is hard to believe if the Taliban would honour its promise.