In a significant development in the Pathankot attack case, Pakistan has filed a complaint, a move that shows the first official acknowledgement in the country that the attack was executed from Pakistani soil. A First Information Report (FIR) has been registered by Pakistan’s anti-terror police. However, in the report the complaint is against “unknown persons”.
This move by Pakistan is a change from the past when it used to deny the role of its citizens in terror attacks on Indian soil. Pakistan has started an investigation into the Pathankot attack. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif pledged his cooperation in the investigation in a phone conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Interior Ministry Deputy Director Aitzaz-ud-Din is the main complainant in the complaint report. The complaint also refers to the phone numbers provided by Indian intelligence agencies. After the attacks in Pathankot on January 2, India had alleged that the attack was carried out by the Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed. The outfit’s chief Masood Azhar was alleged to have been in custody of Pakistan, but there has been no clarity on his detention from the Pakistan side. India had handed over “actionable evidence” to Pakistan, which reportedly includes recordings of phone calls between the terrorists and their handlers in Pakistan.
On the other hand, some reports have claimed that Masood Azhar may be hiding in Afghanistan.
Reports in Pakistani media have claimed that Azhar had been placed under house arrest in Islamabad and the offices of Jaish members had been raided and shut down. India, however, said that there had been no official communication from Pakistan on whether Azhar had been arrested.
Some reports in Pakistan claimed that Jaish operatives are under arrest and Azhar was not among them.
The Pathankot attack has led to the comprehensive bilateral dialogue between the two countries hitting a roadblock. While senior officials from the two sides are in touch, there has been no official announcement on when the foreign secretary level talks between India and Pakistan would take place. The attacks have come as a setback to the peace process just as things between the two countries seemed to have been improving.
Seven soldiers were killed in the attack by 6 terrorists who had infiltrated into the high-security air base of Pathankot on 2nd of January
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