Pathankot attack: Pakistan detains Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar, several members

Pakistan also detained several other members of the Jaish-e-Mohammad in connection with the Pathankot attack.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: January 13, 2016 8:03 pm
Masood Azhar, Jaish-e-Mohammad, JeM Masood Azhar Pakistan also detained several other members of the Jaish-e-Mohammad in connection with the Pathankot attack. (Source: PTI)

Pakistan today arrested Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar, his brother and “several individuals” belonging to his dreaded outfit, which is suspected to have engineered the Pathankot terror attack, and sealed its offices after India demanded action on the group linking it to the fate of Foreign Secretary-level talks.

Azhar’s brother Abdul Rehman Rauf has also been arrested, Geo TV said.

While the arrest of several individuals was announced in a press release from the Prime Minister’s Office, there was no official word on Azhar’s detention.

Officials said Azhar, the dreaded terrorist and two other terrorists who were released from an Indian prison in 1999 in exchange for release of 155 passengers of the hijacked Indian Airlines plane, has been taken into protective custody after raids on several JeM offices.

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Pakistan has also said it’s considering sending a special investigation team to Pathankot as more information would be required to carry forward the process of cooperation with India.

The Pakistani action, which was reviewed at a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, come as the fate of the FS-level talks scheduled for Friday hung in balance with just two days for Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar to go to Islamabad for talks with his counterpart on resuming the bilateral dialogue process.

Terrorists belonging to the JeM are believed by India to be behind the Pathankot terror attack on January 2 in which seven security personnel were killed.

A PMO statement issued after the meeting today said it noted with satisfaction that as part of Pakistan’s commitment to eliminate terrorism from its soil and the expressed national resolve not to allow the territory to be used for acts of terrorism anywhere.

It said “considerable progress has been made in the investigations being carried out against terrorist elements reportedly linked to the Pathankot incident.

“Based on initial investigations in Pakistan, and the information provided, several individuals belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammad have been apprehended. The offices of the organisation are also being traced and sealed. Further investigations are underway,” the statement said.

In the spirit of the cooperative approach, the statement said, it was also decided that in order to carry the process forward, additional information would be required for which the government of Pakistan is considering sending a SIT to Pathankot in consultation with government of India.

“The meeting reiterated that in line with our decision to counter and completely eliminate terrorism, Pakistan would remain engaged with India on this issue,” the statement said.

Army chief Gen Raheel Sharif, Director-General ISI Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar, Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and other senior officials attended the meeting.

Last week India put the ball squarely in Pakistan’s court, linking the FS-level talks to Islamabad’s “prompt and decisive” action in the Pathankot terror attack for which it has provided “actionable intelligence”.

An official said that close to a dozen militants have been held so far and were being questioned.

He refused to give further information like where they have been held or when they could be produced before any court.

In the terror attack on Pathankot Air Force base that began on January 2, six militants were also eliminated in an operation that lasted four days.

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  1. A
    Jan 13, 2016 at 2:32 pm
    These are because of sincerity and seriousness of Modi. Hail Modi !!!
    1. P
      Jan 13, 2016 at 5:13 pm
      Modi's approach towards Pak is very much appreciated. Until two weeks back Pak was a terrorist country. After Modi's gate crash Pak is a SAINT country. Now both countries can work together. I AM A BRAHMIN S-o-B, BRAHMIN SCOUNDREL WHO HAS THE ONLY CAPACITY TO SUK THE CK IF ANYBODY IF THAT SATISFIES MY EGO ON THAT DAY. TOMORROW THERE WILL BE SOMEBODY ELSE WHOM I WILL SUK! I AM A PROUD BRAHMIN SCOUNDREL.
      1. H
        Jan 13, 2016 at 3:39 pm
        Protective custody rather!
        1. M
          Jan 13, 2016 at 6:43 pm
          What Pak does or not, India should still work toward actively aligning itself with international community to make it an important member of the group dealing with terrorism in the subcontinent. It can prove its point by making offer that it can put to better use the resources the international community is offering to deal with this menace. Second India should work on human right issues across stan and provide a forum for the victims and this again in line with UN convention. stan on its part if working for the betterment of its people should welcome these steps. At the same time India can continue talking to stan if stan is willing to do that. Going by historical facts India mostly has invited the problems in the subcontinent. It's now time to give it back.
          1. T
            Jan 13, 2016 at 10:15 am
            Just recall stan Army and ISI harboured Osama Bin Laden for years even as stan Govt collected billions of dollar from US in the name of fighting terrorists so now Sharif brothers had decided to see how much India can be milked
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