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Pathankot attack: Pakistan seeks more evidence from India

Last updated on: February 01, 2016 14:28 IST

With no headway made in the probe into the Pathankot terror attack, Pakistan on Monday said it will seek more evidence from India, days after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the outcome of the investigation into the assault would be made public soon.

The six-member Pakistani government team investigating the Pathankot attack has written to the foreign ministry to seek more “leads” from India.

“The ball is back in India’s court again as we need more evidence to move forward in the probe,” a source in the investigation team said.

“The team has almost completed its investigation into five cell phone numbers (allegedly used for making calls from Pakistan to India) provided by the Indian government. No further leads were found from these numbers because they were unregistered and had fake identities,” the source said.

“The probe is not heading further. The team needs more evidence. Therefore, it has written to the government to speak to India and apprise it of the situation and demand more evidence to move forward in investigation here,” he said.

Answering a question about the people, including banned Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar, detained in connection with the Pathankot incident, the source said “First let more evidence come from India”.

Sharif had formed the six-member investigation team headed by Additional Inspector General of Punjab’s Counter-Terrorism Department Rai Tahir in the second week of January to look into India’s allegations that the JeM was behind last month’s attack. The team has so far held two meetings.

Sharif had said the Pakistani team would also visit India to collect further information on the attack.

The prime minister said on Saturday that the investigation was underway and its findings would be made public.

“Whatever facts come out we will bring them forth before everyone,” he said, adding that Pakistan would go to “any length” to uncover the alleged use of its soil in the attack.

“It is our responsibility to uncover if our soil was used in the attack. We will do this and the ongoing investigation will be completed soon,” he said.

Pakistani law enforcement agencies have not produced any of the suspects arrested in connection with the attack in court over the past two weeks since their detention.

The government has not disclosed the number of suspects detained. Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah only confirmed that Maulana Masood Azhar had been taken into “protective custody”, along with some of his “accomplices”.

“He (Masood) is not arrested,” the minister clarified. India says Masood Azhar was the mastermind of the attack. It alleges that his brother Rauf and five others were also involved in the attack which left all six terrorists and seven Indian soldiers dead.

Sources further said that the intelligence agencies have been carrying out a separate probe into the incident as well.

However, there has been no official word regarding the progress in the investigation.

India had given “specific and actionable information” to Pakistan soon after the Pathankot attack reportedly carried out by Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists on the intervening night of January 1 and 2. 

M Zulqernain
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