Dear FBI, Masood Azhar is in Pakistan

And his kind remain thorns in the side of good neighbourly relations

A team of investigators from the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation are scheduled to arrive in New Delhi, to collect more evidence against Masood Azhar, chief of the jihadi organisation known variously as Harkat-ul-Ansar, Jaish-e-Mohammed or Khuddam-ul-Islam.

They are in the wrong place. Unless the FBI is merely going through the process of carrying out an investigation, its sleuths should be knocking on the doors of the authorities in Pakistan, who have already refused to hand him over.

Interestingly, the Pakistani authorities see India’s cooperation with the FBI investigation as ‘upping the ante‘. If so, it is well past the time such antes are upped. An anonymous Pakistani official sought to draw a parallel with the British House of Lords ruling against the extradition of a Bollywood composer accused of murder. The Lord’s would have been shocked to hear that they had made this decision not because of their concerns over finer points of evidence law and the death penalty but because the Lords felt that as a Muslim, he would not get justice in India!

Pakistan is not Great Britain, and Masood Azhar is not Nadeem Saifee. The ‘slow progress of confidence-building measures (due to Indian intransigence) is a common refrain in Pakistan; but as long as the Pakistani government brazenly protects wanted terrorists and gangsters, it will be impossible to have any confidence in Pakistani intentions.