Pathankot attack: Pakistan arrests suspects, sets up top team to probe incident

(From PTI)

Pakistani authorities carried out raids at different places following attack on the Pathankot airbase in India, leading to some arrests, intelligence officials said Monday.

Nawaz Sharif

Nawaz Sharif

They said that raids were carried out in Gujranwala, Jhelum and Bahawalpur districts and an unspecified number of people were arrested.

“Probe has been going to ascertain if they were involved in the attack or some of them facilitated it,” they said.

The arrests led Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to order a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) of IB, Inter-Services Intelligence, Military Intelligence, Federal Investigation Agency and Police to thoroughly probe the Pathankot attack links to Pakistan.

Sharif’s decision to form the JIT came after the leads provided by India which has linked the foreign secretary-level talks, scheduled for January 15, to Islamabad’s decisive action on the Pathankot terror attack.

The foreign secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan will not happen if Pakistan does not act against the Pathankot attack masterminds, national security adviser Ajit Doval said on Monday.

The decision to form the JIT was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Sharif recently, the Express Tribune said.

Interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, national security adviser Lt-Gen (retd) Nasser Khan Janjua, Prime Minister’s adviser on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz, special assistant to the Prime Minister on foreign affairs Tariq Fatemi and finance minister Ishaq Dar attended the meeting.

Prime Minister Sharif “is taking an active role in getting to the bottom of the Pathankot incident,” a Prime Minister’s House source was quoted as saying by the paper.

“He also discussed the issue with army chief Gen Raheel Sharif and took him on board about the decision to form a JIT,” the source added.

“This investigation will be a major test of the prime minister to move Pakistan-India relationship forward and to break the cycle of off-again on-again talks between the two neighbours,” the source added.

India’s Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said any individual or organisation causing pain to India should be paid back in the same coin but how, when and where “should be of our choice.”

Addressing an audience which consisted of top brass of the Army, including its chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, the minister said until those who inflict damage on others experience the same pain, they will not change.

Without referring to the Pathankot attack, he said the country was proud of its seven soldiers who laid down their lives but he is pained by the loss.

The nation should neutralise the enemy, he said.

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