Masood Azhar warns Pakistan against ‘kneeling before Trump’

Maulana Masood Azhar

Maulana Masood Azhar, the founder of terror-cum-charity group Jaish-e-Mohammed, has warned the Pakistan government against giving in to the demands of the Americans, who want it to destroy all terror groups.

Azhar said Pakistani media and intellectuals are trying to scare the people of the country into giving in to Trump’s demands.

His comments come in the wake of the Americans suspending most of their military aid to Pakistan and accusing the country of offering only “lies and deceit” in return for billions of dollars in aid.

The move is estimated to freeze $1.3 billion of aid to Pakistan, and has led to discussions in Pakistani media about whether the country should be doing more to control terror groups such as the Haqqani Network that have bases in Pakistan. These groups do not carry out terror attacks in Pakistan, and are often involved in charity activities there, but organize attacks in other countries such as Afghanistan and India.

Azhar had been arrested by Indian security forces in 1994, but was released in 1999 in exchange for the lives of hostages in a kidnapped Indian Airlines flight.

“16 years ago, our then rulers provided all kinds of support to the US forces to attack Afghanistan,” said Azhar in an audio message being played on Indian media.

“They were provided ground and air support, and all kinds of logistical support. Arab and Afghan holy warriors were captured and handed over. Our country was dragged into the the wholesale slaughter of Afghans. The result of the co-operation has plunged our country into conflict.

“Our country was made an instrument of cruel and faithless monsters. What have we got in return? The US today accuses us of taking money and betraying them.

“After 16 years of this injustice, we are again getting ready to bow down to Trump. Nevertheless, if Pakistan again joins (the US), the situation may not remain under control because this time, the US is not alone. They have India with them.. they can squeeze Pakistan dry and still not fulfill their aims,” Azhar warned in an audio message played by the Indian media.

Azhar accused the Pakistani media and ‘intellectual class’ of trying to create conditions for the ‘surrender’ of Pakistan before Donald Trump.

“Whichever newspaper one looks at, the cowardly intellectuals are scaring the country with catastrophic warnings. They have only suggestion — to agree to the requirements of the US and India, to lay down the burden of jihad and to get down on our knees in front of Trump.

“It is shameful to even think that such a powerful nation with such a powerful army and an atom bomb would be so scared by a mad man’s rant on Twitter. But alas, this shamelessness has been a characteristic of this country for 16 years,” he said.

Azhar’s Jaish-e-Mohammed and various related organizations and fronts could face pressure if the Pakistani establishment decides to give in to US pressure to act against terror groups based in the country.

The terror groups have remained largely loyal to the Pakistani Army, which is assumed to be nurturing, protecting and supplying these groups with arms and funds.

US and other governments have warned Pakistan against nurturing such groups, pointing out that one day, they may turn against the Pakistani government.

“You can’t keep snakes in your backyard and expect them to only bite your neighbors,” US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said at press conference in Islamabad in 2011.