Islamabad/New Delhi: Social media is buzzing with news that Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar may have died even as there has been no official confirmation from any authority in Pakistan.
Whether he died in the air strike as claimed by some or from his sickness as mentioned by Pakistan foreign minister is not clear either but there is no official confirmation in Pakistan media.
There were also reports of his renal failure and treatment in a hospital in Rawalpindi, the Pakistan Army headquarters, earlier.
However, the news even earned attraction of several Indian journalists.
Indian journalist Rajdeep Sardesai tweeted: “Top Govt sources in Pakistan refuse to confirm reports that #MasoodAzharDEAD . Claim he has been on daily dialysis. No formal statement yet. More news updates when they come.”
Another well known journalist Bhupendra Choubey said: “A couple of days after @SMQureshiPTI admits that Masood Azhar was unwell, now , reports coming out that he May have died due to liver cancer. #MasoodAzharDEAD.”
A hashtag #MasoodAzharDEAD is currently trending on Twitter.
The Outlook India magazine reported: “Though there was no credible confirmation about the number of casualties, and the Pakistani establishment was in denial mode, a video clip of Masood Azhar’s brother Maulana Ummar surfaced on Saturday where he can be heard accepting that the Balakot camp had taken a hit. The recording is said to be from a public function organized in Peshawar after the air strike.”
Earlier, Pakistani officials had confirmed that Azhar was ‘unwell’.
Azhar is so “unwell” that he “can’t even leave his house”, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Friday.
“He is in Pakistan, according to my information. He is very unwell.
“He is unwell to the extent that he cannot leave his house because he is really unwell. That’s the information I have,” Qureshi told CNN.
The terror mastermind’s group had carried out a series of attacks in India, including the February 14 Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF personnel died.
India has handed over to Pakistan a dossier with “specific details of the JeM complicity” in Pulwama attack.