Pathankot terror attack: Pakistan in denial over JeM chief's arrest

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Khalilullah Qazi claims he is unaware of Masood Azhar’s arrest

Islamabad: The Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said it has no information about the arrest of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar in connection with the recent Pathankot terror attack. ‘I am not aware of such arrest,’ said MOFA spokesperson Khalilullah Qazi.

Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar. File pics
Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar. File pics

He, however, said the two governments remain in touch in this regard and added that India and Pakistan are in contact to firm up the date for the meeting of the two Foreign Secretaries. Qazi further said Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

“Terrorism is a common threat and it is the collective responsibility of all countries to fight against it,” he added.

Reports earlier suggested that Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies had arrested 12 suspects of the banned Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), including its chief Masood Azhar, on Wednesday over links with the attack on Indian Air Force base in Pathankot.

The reports also suggested that a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was informed on Wednesday that offices of JeM that allegedly conducted Pathankot attack were secretly operating in four cities of Punjab.

The offices had reportedly been sealed in Bahwalnagar, Bahawalpur, Multan and Muzafargarh cities and the suspected members of the group were also held, top officials briefed Sharif.

Home Ministry: No information if Pakistan filed criminal case
New Delhi: A day after Pakistan announced crackdown on Jaish-e-Mohammad, Home Ministry officials yesterday said there is no information on whether any criminal case was registered against the outfit believed to be responsible for the Pathankot attack.

With regard to the proposal of Pakistani SIT to come to India for probe into the airbase attack, the officials said they could come to collect evidence while focussing on investigation into how the attack was hatched in that country.

The officials said since Pakistan has announced that several individuals belonging to JeM have been apprehended, it should also disclose under which law it has started the probe or detained the suspects.

Foreign Secretary-level meet: India, Pakistan agree to reschedule talks
New Delhi: Clearing air over reports of deferment of the Foreign Secretary-level talks with Pakistan, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) yesterday said Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar spoke to his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhary and both agreed to reschedule the talks in the near future.

Punjab police personnel position themselves outside the air base in Pathankot.  MEA spokesperson said the Pakistani government is considering sending a SIT to investigate the attack. File pic
Punjab police personnel position themselves outside the air base in Pathankot.  MEA spokesperson said the Pakistani government is considering sending a SIT to investigate the attack. File pic

MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup welcomed Pakistan’s move to order an investigation into the Pathankot terror attack. “The statement conveys that considerable progress has been made in the investigation being carried out against terrorist elements linked to the Pathankot incident,” he Swarup.

“We note the apprehension of Jaish-e-Mohammad members, the action taken against JeM is an important positive first step.” Swarup informed the media that the Pak government is considering sending a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the Pathankot terror attack.

Musharraf warns India don't play mischief
Islamabad: Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf yesterday warned India against embarking on any ‘mischief’.

Pervez Musharraf
Pervez Musharraf

“In case India perpetrates something wrong against Pakistan, we will also retaliate and inflict pain where it hurts the most,” Musharraf said in an interview to a local news channel. “We are not just any small country, we can also retaliate,” he added.

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