In a breakthrough in Pakistan’s relentless investigation into the Pathankot terror attack which resulted in the death of seven Indian jawans, JeM’s chief Masood Azhar has been detained and taken into protective custody.
There are reports of Azhar’s brother Rauf and brother-in-law Ashfaq also being taken into custody. The JeM chief, along with some of his associates, was detained in the city of Bahawalpur in Pakistan.
Earlier today, Pakistan had claimed that it had arrested several JeM men and sealed their offices in raids conducted across Pakistan.
These arrests have come ahead of the scheduled FSA-level talks between the foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan in Islamabad on January 15. So far there is no confirmation from India whether the talks will take place in Islamabad.
Masood Azhar is the chief of the Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist outfit in Pakistan who was held responsible for the terrorist attack in Pathankot in the wee hours of 2nd January. The terrorists had entered the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot in military uniforms. Masood was also the prime suspect in the 2001 Parliament attack in India. After his arrest in 1994 in Kashmir, India freed Masood in 1999 in exchange for the release of 155 passengers who were being held hostage by Pakistani terrorists in an Indian Airlines flight that had been hijacked to Kandahar in Afghanistan.
Pakistan has been criticised many a times for allegedly supporting terrorist groups and shielding them away from being exposed to punitive measures. The United States earlier condemned the Pathankot attack and directed Pakistan to swiftly investigate into the matter.
The Pathankot attack followed a controversial ‘surprise’ meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Lahore on the latter’s birthday.