Maulana Masood Azhar, the leader of the Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed, was in Kandahar in the third week of August after the Taliban gained control of Afghanistan to seek their help in fomenting terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, according to reports.
Masood Azhar met with Taliban leaders, including the head of the political commission, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. Masood Azhar wanted Taliban assistance in the Kashmir Valley for JeM operations.
Masood Azhar had previously expressed joy over the Taliban’s “success” after they took Kabul on August 15, thanking the terror group for imposing the fall of the “US-backed Afghan government.” On August 16, the JeM chief praised the “success of mujahideen” in Afghanistan in a piece titled “Manzil Ki Taraf” (towards the destination).
A message has also gone out among JeM bureaucrats at its markaz (headquarters) in Bahawalpur, Pakistan, congratulating one another on the Taliban’s triumph.
Following the Deobandi school of Sunni Islam, the Taliban and Jaish-e-Mohammed are regarded ideological allies in interpreting sharia, Islamic law. Since Masood Azhar’s release in 1999, Jaish-e-Mohammed has been active in carrying out terrorist actions in Jammu and Kashmir.
Masood Azhar was released from an Indian prison in exchange for the safety of passengers on the hijacked Indian Airlines flight IC 814. On its journey from Kathmandu to Lucknow, the plane was hijacked.
The plane was then taken to Kandahar, Afghanistan, where the Taliban ruled at the time. The Taliban established a circle around the hijacked plane shortly after it arrived in Kandahar, ensuring that they maintained control of the situation until terrorists, including Masood Azhar, were released by the Indian government.
Because of their prior ties to the Jaish-e-Mohammed, there has been fear that the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan may fuel terror activity in Jammu and Kashmir. The Taliban, on the other hand, recently stated that Afghan land will not be used for terror activities against any country.