Pakistan asks India to share evidence against Masood Azhar acceptable to its courts, people

Srinagar: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that if India has “solid evidence” regarding Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar’s involvement in the Pulwama attack, it should share that with Pakistan “so we can convince the judiciary and the people”.

The foreign minister made these remarks during an interview with CNN journalist Christiane Amanpour regarding Pakistan’s ongoing tensions with India, which was sparked by the Pulwama incident and has since led to armed conflict at the Line of Control.

Qureshi was asked how he would respond to Indian concerns regarding Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM). “My message to the Indians is that this is a new government that has a new mindset. We want to live in peace. We have a people-centric agenda. We want to concentrate on fixing the economy. We want to improve governance and eradicate corruption in Pakistan. That’s the mandate given to us.

“We want to see peace and reconciliation in Pakistan and the region. The western front is consuming us; we do not want [escalation on the] eastern front. The policy of our government is that we will not allow our soil to be used by any organisation or individual for terrorism against anyone, and that includes India.”

Qureshi was asked what he thought of India’s desire to have the JeM’s head’s name on the international terrorist list. “We will be open to any step that leads to de-escalation. If they have good, solid evidence, please sit and talk, initiate a dialogue and we will show reasonableness.”

When asked if Azhar was present in Pakistan and would the government go after him, Qureshi replied: “He is in Pakistan, according to my information. He is very unwell, to the extent that he cannot leave his house.”

He urged India to share with Pakistan any evidence that “is acceptable to the courts of Pakistan”.

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