Islamabad : Intelligence officials today revealed that Pakistani authorities have carried out raids at different places following attack on the Pathankot air base in India, leading to some arrests. According to Intel reports, raids were carried out in Gujranwala, Jhelum and Bahawalpur districts and an unspecified number of people were arrested. After the arrests, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered the formation of a high-profile joint investigation team (JIT), the task of which was to mainly investigate the links of the Pathankot air base attackers with Pakistan, as revealed by media reports today.
This decision of PM Sharif regarding formation of JIT is an after step taken in continuance of the leads provided by India which, cast its shadow on the Foreign Secretary-level talks, scheduled for January 15. The decision to form the JIT, comprising officials from Intelligence Bureau (IB), Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI), was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by PM Sharif recently, as said by The Express Tribune’s media report.
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 were among the ones who attended the meeting. The report said, Prime Minister Sharif ‘is taking an active role in getting to the bottom of the Pathankot incident…. and also discussed the issue with army chief Gen Raheel Sharif and took him on board about the decision to form a JIT.
It is being interpreted that this investigation would present itself as a major test of the PM’s to move Pakistan-India relationship forward and to break the cycle of off-again on-again talks between the two neighbors.