Hours after a Pakistani court issued arrest warrants against banned Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar on Thursday, India called it an acknowledgement by the neighbouring nation of the terror chief’s presence in its territory.

So far, at FATF deliberations, Pakistan has denied that Azhar was living on its soil. In February 2020, on the eve of the FATF Paris plenary, Pakistan claimed that Azhar had gone “missing.” The submission was made before the Financial Action Task Force.

However, India believes that now getting an arrest warrant against Azhar on terror financing charges means that Pakistan is acknowledging that he is being harboured in the country.

“In a significant development, under pressure from FATF, Pakistan has acknowledged Azhar’s presence on its territory,” a senior Indian government official told news18.

An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan on Thursday issued an arrest warrant for Azhar on the charges of terror financing.

As per Indian Intelligence agencies, Azhar who was unwell is recuperating under the care of the Pakistan government and ISI.

The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Gujranwala issued the warrant during a hearing in a terror financing case instituted by the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of Punjab police against some members of the JeM.

“ATC Gujranwala judge Natasha Naseem Supra issued an arrest warrant for Masood Azhar and directed the CTD to arrest him and present him in the court. The CTD told the judge the JeM chief was involved in terror financing and selling jihadi literature,” an official said. He said the ATC judge issued the arrest warrant for Azhar on the request of a CTD inspector.