Amid conflicting reports, sources say Masood Azhar never hospitalised, plans to release message soon

Azhar's close association with Osama bin Laden Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team Islamabad, Pakistan Mar 04, 2019, 11.45 AM (IST)

Amid Pakistan's flip-flop over reports of death of  Jaish-e-Mohammed(JeM) chief Masood Azhar,50, sources have told WION that Masood Azhar was never hospitalised although his dialysis was done twice a week but his condition has deteriorated since January.

Pakistan media quoting "unnamed sources" had said that the JeM chief was alive, although there was no official confirmation. 

During an interview during the weekend, Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had told a US news channel that the JeM chief was in the country and was  "very unwell" but added that government can act against him only if India presents "solid" and "inalienable" evidence that can stand in a court of law.

"He is in Pakistan, according to my information. He is unwell to the extent that he can't leave his house, because he's really unwell," Qureshi said.

India blames Azhar for the 2001 Parliament attack including the Pulwama terror strike on February 14th. He was released by the NDA government in 1999 during exchange of hostages in the  hijacked Indian Airlines plane IC-814 in Khandhar.

Pakistan's senior security official had earlier said it was suspected that Azhar was afflicted with renal failure and was under regular dialysis at an army hospital in Rawalpindi in Pakistan

However, sources close to Azhar's family have told WION that the JeM chief is "fine and alive" and is likely to release a "message" very soon.

Last week, US, the UK and France had moved a fresh proposal in the UN Security Council to designate Azhar as a global terrorist. The proposal moved earlier was vetoed by China.

The Security Council Sanctions Committee will have 10 working days to consider the fresh proposal submitted by the three permanent members. It is the third attempt by UNSC members to impose sanctions on Azhar.

China has blocked the move twice - in 2016 and 2017.
JeM had claimed responsibility for the February 14 attack in Pulwama that killed over 40 CRPF personnel.