The Pakistan army on Monday remained tight-lipped about the blast that hit its Rawalpindi hospital where banned terror outfit Jaish-e-Muhammed’s chief Masood Azhar was being treated for his renal ailment. There was no word on Azhar amid rumours that the Jaish chief may have been among the injured.
IIndian intelligence agencies did not have an independent confirmation yet. But social media, particularly a Telegram channel which an intelligence official here said is “normally reliable” put out the update that Masood Azhar was among the 10 injured in the blast. It added that there was total media blackout by the authorities.
Masood Azhar , who suffers from renal failure, is a regular visitor to the Army hospital for dialysis. Late Sunday night, several Pakistani Twitter users uploaded videos of the blast, with some claiming that 10 people had been injured.
A Twitter handle with the name Ahsan Ullah MiaKhail, who identifies himself as a human rights worker and PTM (Pashtun Tahafuz Movement) activist, posted a video of the blast along with a comment: “Huge #blast at Military Hospital in #Rawalpindi, #Pakistan. 10 injured shifted to emergency. Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Maulana Masood Azahar is admitted here. Completely Media blackout by Army. Media asked Strictly not to cover this story (sic).” The videos show smoke emerging from the building even as traffic is seen on the road.
Huge #blast at Military Hospital in #Rawalpindi, #Pakistan. 10 injured shifted to emergency.
Jaish-E-Mohammad Chief Maulana Masood Azahar is admitted here.Completely Media blackout by Army. Media asked Strictly not to cover this story@a_siab @nidkirm @GulBukhari @mazdaki pic.twitter.com/sTIYrJ7sAn
— Ahsan Ullah MiaKhail (@AhsanUlMiakhail) June 23, 2019
Following the Pulwama attack in J&K, India had retaliated by bombing a Jaish terror camp in Balakot on February 26. Incidentally, Azhar escaped the air strikes as he was believed to have been undergoing treatment at the Rawalpindi hospital. Soon after the Balakot strikes, the Pakistan Army shifted Azhar to a protected location.