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Masood Azhar is in Pakistan, Qureshi tells CNN

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan has never wanted to escalate tension with India, adding that it was when India attacked Pakistan that things escalated.

To a question regarding Jaish-e-Muhammad’s Masood Azhar during an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Qureshi said: “We are open to any step that leads to de-escalation and if they have good, solid evidence, please sit and talk, please initiate a dialogue and we will show reasonableness.”

Responding to a question regarding Azhar’s location, Qureshi said “he is in Pakistan, according to my information”.

“He is unwell to the extent that he can’t leave his house, because he’s really unwell,” the foreign minister said.

With respect to action against the JeM chief, Qureshi said Pakistan wants evidence that can stand in a court of law, adding that Pakistan follows a legal process and will have to fulfill those requirements if action is to be taken against Azhar.

On the matter of de-escalation of the crisis and the conversations Qureshi had with the United States, the foreign minister said “I’d like to thank President Trump for taking an interest in order to de-escalate” and praised America’s role in diffusing the situation.

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