Two days after Pakistan admitted about the presence of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar in its territory, reports have emerged about him getting killed in the airstrikes conducted by the Indian Air Force on terror camps in Balakot last week.
However, no confirmation has come yet from the Pakistan Army or government. A few media outlets have claimed that the JeM chief was seriously injured during the air strike and has succumbed to his injuries.
It was also being reported that Masood Azhar is now afflicted with renal failure and is under treatment at the Pakistani Army hospital in Rawalpindi.
However, "dispelling the rumours", close family sources of the JeM chief reportedly told Geo News that he is alive. "While talking to Geo News in programme Naya Pakistan, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also said that he was unaware of Masood Azhar's health condition," The News International added.
On March 1, Shah Mahmood Qureshi had confirmed that Azhar was "really unwell" and that he was undergoing treatment in Pakistan.
On Sunday, several media outlets had reported that the JeM chief was dead. Here are some of the tweets:
#BREAKING: Reports suggest Maulana Masood Azhar is dead, he died on March 2. To be formally announced after intimation from Army hospital, Islamabad: Top Intel Sources. Input: @manojkumargupta, @Zakka_Jacob with more details— News18 (@CNNnews18) 3 March 2019
CNN-News18 is trying to independently verify the news pic.twitter.com/ntFVMBPvFF
Till now, there is no credible confirmation about the number of casualties. In a video clip of Masood Azhar's brother Maulana Ammar that had surfaced on Saturday, he can be heard accepting that the Balakot camp had taken a hit. The recording is said to be from a public function organised in Peshawar after the air strike.
Azhar formed JeM after his release in 1999 when Indian Airlines flight IC 814 was hijacked and taken to Kandahar. Since then, the JeM has been involved in terror attacks in India.
Here is a list of terror attacks carried out by JeM Chief:
The terror group was responsible for the attack on Indian Parliament on December 13, 2001 in which nine security personnel and officials were killed.
On January 2, 2016, a heavily armed group of JeM attacked the Pathankot airbase in which seven security personnel were killed.
The JeM also carried out the attack on Uri brigade headquarters on September 18, 2016, killing 17 soldiers and injuring 30 others.