South Asia
Charles Sobhraj explains Kandahar hijacking and connection with Masood Azhar

French serial killer Charles Sobhraj has come out of jail after Nepal’s Supreme Court ordered his release. Meanwhile, ‘Indian Express‘ has published an interview. The interview was taken in 2016.

In this interview, he talks about his arrest from a casino in Nepal in 2003 and his meetings with Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar.

Sobhraj said that between 2000 and 2003, he made several visits to Pakistan and met Masood.

Charles Sobhraj said, “Look, you already know about this… When Masood Azhar was released after the Indian Airlines hijacking (in 1999), ‘The Indian Express’ wrote to the Government of India at that time. mentioned the role.

Sobhraj had told in that interview, “Jaswant Singh (then foreign minister) was in direct contact with me. First of all, he sent a messenger to meet me in Paris. After this meeting and conversation with Jaswant Singh, I contacted the people of Masood’s party Harkat-ul-Ansar.

Sobhraj further says in the interview, “Of course, he refused to release the passengers, but I was able to get him to promise that he would not harm the passengers for 11 days. But after that, they will kill him.”

He said, “I called Jaswant Singh and said that in my opinion, for 11 days, no harm will be done to the passengers. That’s why India has 11 days for talks. Actually, the plane was in Kandahar and the Government of India had no choice but to release Masood Azhar to save the passengers.

He further said, “A few days after reporting Jaswant Singh, they called me and said they were sitting with Masood. He told me to talk to Masood and ask him to ask his people to drop off the passengers. I flatly refused.”

“I said that Masood would not agree. Along with this, I also feel that after 11 days they will start killing the passengers.

Shobhraj said, “These people do not know that after that call, I had a long conversation with Jaswant Singh. I suggested another solution. According to this, the Government of India should officially make this promise and take consent from the Parliament that Masood should be released within six months. I will try my best to hold talks with Harkat ul Ansar on this condition. Jaswant Singh said that he will consult the cabinet about this. But in the end, they chose to leave Masood. You can ask Jaswant Singh to confirm this.

“I still feel that if the government had considered the option of releasing him in six months, I might have convinced Harkat-ul-Ansar to accept it.”

Sobhraj had said in that interview that between 2000 and 2003 he had visited Pakistan many times. During this he met Masood.

Sobhraj gave this interview on August 15, 2016, via e-mail. The interview was taken by Indian Express journalist Ritu Sareen. By that time, Sobhraj was beginning to feel that he was about to be released.

However, he had put a condition that this interview should be published after his release from Kathmandu jail. But even after this, his release kept getting postponed. He had heart surgery in 2017 and after that came the phase of Kovid.

AfghanistanCharles SobhrajIndiaKandaharNepal