The Home Ministry has sent a team to Chile to get information on the man suspected to be Abdul Rauf — the brother of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar — but is coming round to the point that news of his detention might be a red herring.
Pakistani authorities have already refuted Chilean police's claim of having arrested Azhar's brother, accused of coordinating the 1999 hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane, saying Rauf was in the garrison town of Rawalpindi, a Pakistani newspaper reported.
Government sources said the investigators had been sitting on an alert from Interpol about the detention for quite some time. But when the Home Ministry learnt about the Chilean suspicion, it decided to send a team. Home Secretary Gopal K Pillai said the Indian team was in Chile to get a full brief on Rauf from the authorities there. “The team will try for a possible access and interrogation of Abdul Rauf. If he is indeed the man wanted for the Indian Airlines plan hijacking case, we would move the Chilean government for his extradition,” Pillai said.
Earlier, Chile’s Ambassador to India Christian Barros said that the Indian Embassy in Santiago would have to apply with all documents to seek Abdul Rauf's extradition once his identity was confirmed.
Barros had come to the External Affairs Ministry to discuss the issue with officials here.