Following Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s measured assurance
that it was best to wait for Pakistan’s response than blame them outright for the Pathankot attack, Pakistan arrested some leaders and members of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and sealed its offices across the country.
Authorities in Pakistan conducted raids on offices and establishments of Maulana Masood Azhar’s Jaish-e-Mohammed, suspected to be behind the attack on the Indian Air Force base. Local media reports that Masood has been detained, too.
The attack that came on January 2 left seven security personnel dead. All six terrorists were killed in the Operation that lasted three days.
On Wednesday, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that a special team of investigators will be sent to the Indian Air Base in Pathankot to help coordinate and cooperate the probe into the attack.
Security forces man a road barrier outside Pathankot air force base. AP Photo/Channi Anand
In the statement issued to the press Pakistan confirmed arrests of members of Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group.
File photo of Maulana Masood Azhar.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Personal Assistant to Prime Minister Tariq Fatemi, and Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif were present in the meeting.
The meeting was also attended by Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, DG ISI Rizwan Akhter and National Security Advisor (retired) Lt General Nasir Khan Janjua.
It was decided in the meeting that Pakistan will provide all help to India in the investigations, which is why the special investigative team will be sent to gather more evidence.
Earlier, Hizbul Mujahideen’s Syed Salahuddin
had claimed responsibility for the attack on Pathankot. India continued to maintain that Jaish had a hand in the attack.
The Indian security brass had come in for criticism for deploying the NSG against the terrorists, which the Indian Army later defended citing the elite commando group’s proven expertise in hostage rescue and the fact that there were families of air force personnel living inside the base.
The attack could have undermined the relations
between India and Pakistan but for the remarkable composure of the Indian government. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had over the phone asked Pakistani Premier Nawaz Sharif for prompt and decisive action on the basis of specific evidence.