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January 7, 2000
US asks Pak to probe Azhar's activities
The United States has asked Pakistan to probe the activities of Kashmiri militant Maulana Masood Azhar, freed by the Indian government in exchange for the hostages of the Indian Airlines flight IC-814 on New Year's eve.
''Pakistan must assure the safety of Americans, Indians and all foreigners in Pakistan. We would hold the government of Pakistan responsible for Masood's activities which threaten the lives of our citizens,'' James Rubin, the US State Department spokesman, was quoted as saying in the media Friday.
A witness on Thursday quoted Azhar as saying in a Karachi mosque that he would not ''rest in peace until Kashmir is liberated.''
''I have come here because this is my duty to tell you that Muslims should nor rest in peace until we have destroyed America and India,'' Azhar reportedly said.
Rubin, speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the peace talks between Israel and Syria in the West Virginia town of Shepherdstown, said, ''Such language feeds a climate of hostility against both countries and incites violence.''
He urged Pakistan to investigate whether Azhar's activities have violated any Pakistani law and if so, he be prosecuted accordingly.
Azhar was one of the three militants released from an Indian jail on December 31 in exchange for 154 hostages held by hijackers for eight days aboard the Indian Airlines plane in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
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