Tag Archives: Pathankot attack

Pathankot attack: Huge controversy over involvement of Pak ISI in Joint investigation

Newsroom24x7 Staff

PathankotNew Delhi: A huge controversy has erupted over the decision of Goverment of India to allow a team of Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) to have “limited access” into the Pathankot Air Force base to investigate the recent Pathankot terror attack.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said that the area inside the Pathankot Air force base which was the scene of crime has been handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for investigation purpose and it is up to them who they bring into that area.

Today legislators registered a strong protest in the Delhi Assembly. While members raised the slogan -“ISI go back”- the House was adjourned for the day. The ruling Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi has launched a scathing attack on the Central Government and the BJP for allowing the ISI team to investigate the Pathankot attack. AAP’s contention is that a team of NIA from India should have gone to Pakistan to conduct investigation because the terrorists and those who planned and were behind the attack on the Pathankot Air force base in January this year were  from Pakistan and India has already given evidence in this regard to the neighbouring country.

Chief Spokesperson of Congress Randeep Singh Surjewala today registered a strong protest. He told the media that without even a letter rogatory the Modi-led Government has allowed the ISI team to enter the Air Force base at Pathankot to investigate the recent terror attack. This raises serious questions regarding compromising of national security, he said adding it is a u-turn in terms of segregation of state and non-state actors who have continued to play a role in exporting terror in India causing loss of lives – both civilian and military.

PathankotSurjewala said: “we ask these questions on behalf of the people of India. How can the accused investigate itself.” He said, the BJP Government has for the first time recognised that Pakistan is not exporting terror in India. He particularly pointed to the Pathankot terror attack in this regard.

Many times the Indian Government has pointed out how the ISI has been supporting and handling and supporting terrorist outfits like al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed and this has been the declared policy of India, Surjewala stated and asked: has Government of India and BJP breached this line suo moto in favour of Pakistani Army and ISI?

A BJP spokesperson told media that instead of supporting the Government, Congress and AAP are playing dirty politics. The spokesperson said that by being part of the Joint investigation team (JIT), Pakistan has recognised India’s charge that the Pathankot attack was launched from Pakistan.

Prakash Javadekar’s presence at “Pakistan Day” event comes under attack

Lalit Shastri

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, speaking recently in Lok Sabha had described the attack on the Air Force base at Pathankot in Punjab as an “accumulation of an asymmetric war”. He said: “When conventional war fails as it had failed in ’65 and ’71, the enemy resorted to thousand cuts in trying to bleed India. These are small attacks of weak forces on a stronger force when the weak forces know they cannot defeat the stronger force.”.

India's Minister for Environment and Forest Prakash Javadekar and Pakistan´s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit at the "Pakistan Day" function at the High Commissione of Pakistan in New Delhi on 23 March 2016
India’s Minister for Environment and Forest Prakash Javadekar and Pakistan´s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit at the “Pakistan Day” function at the High Commissione of Pakistan in New Delhi on 23 March 2016

In this backdrop when the Defence Minister spoke of Pakistan as an enemy that has resorted to small attacks after successive defeats in full-fledged wars, eyebrows are being raised in India and the Minister for Environment and Forest Prakash Javadekar has come under attack as he was present on behalf of the Modi-led NDA Government at the Pakistan Day function held this evening at the High Commission of Pakistan in New Delhi. This event was also attended by separatist leaders from Kashmir.

India had called off talks with Pakistan in the last week of August 2015 after their High Commissioner in New Delhi had met with separatist leaders from Kashmir defying a warning from India.

Announcing the cancellation of talks, India’s External Affairs Ministry Spokesman Syed Akbaruddin had told media that Pakistan’s High Commissioner in New Delhi had been specifically warned that the talks between the foreign secretaries of the two countries, would be jeopardized if he met with the Hurriyat Conference leaders from Kashmir.

Within days of the secret meeting in Bangkok last December between the NSA chiefs of India and Pakistan to break ice and open the doors for talks between the two countries, the Air Force base in Pathankot was attacked by terrorists receiving command from Pakistan.

The main opposition Congress has lashed out at the Modi Government for its Pakistan policy. The Congress is particularly critical of the bonhomie being shown repeatedly by top leaders in the NDA Government during one-on-one meetings with those from the Pakistani side. A Congress leader said this is in sharp contrast with the stand taken by India’s Defence Minister in Parliament.

A cross-section of people, who were contacted in different parts of India, also were unanimous in pointing out that the Indian Government should have boycotted the Pakistan Day event especially since it coincides with the the 23 March 2003 Nadimarg massacre when two dozen Kashmiri Pandits were killed by terrorists in Nadimarg village in Pulwama District of Jammu and Kashmir. March 23 is also the Martyrdom Day to commemorate the hanging of great freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru on 23 March 1931 by the British.

Pakistan shuts down religious institutions run by JeM

Newsroom24x7 Desk

Pakistan mapLahore : Punjab province, which happens to be Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s power base, and which also happens to be the headquarters of Jaish-e-Mohammad, has been witnessing activity akin to search operations, clamping down of JeM sponsored educational institutions and recovering documents from such places. The crackdown in Punjab province, the headquarters of Jaish-e-Mohammad, follows the arrest this week of several members of the militant group, topping the list being its leader, Maulana Masood Azhar, an Islamist hardliner and long-time foe of India.

Pakistan is claiming that it has activated the routines required for executing clamping down on Maulana Masood Azhar’s group. Also, investigations related to India’s assertions over 2 January attack on the Pathankot air base are on the activity list, as claimed by Pakistan. India had clearly detailed out how the Pathankot attack was the work of the Pakistan-based militants.

Provincial Law Minister, Rana Sanaullah, today informed Reuters that Pakistani authorities have shut down several religious schools run by the Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group accused of masterminding an attack this month on an air base in India. Claiming that Pakistan is clamping down on Azhar’s group, which India has long accused Pakistani authorities of tolerating, the Law Minister said — Officials of the Counter-Terrorism Department raided the Jamiatul Nur seminary in the Daska area on Thursday and arrested more than a dozen people. The seminary has been sealed off and documents and literature have been confiscated from the premises.

Sanaullah added that several other offices and seminaries run by Jaish-e-Mohammad had also been raided and shut down, with many of its staff arrested. He declined to share further details. In a TV interview on Thursday, Sanaullah confirmed that Azhar had been taken into ‘protective custody. He went ahead to say that legal action would be taken against him if his involvement in the Pathankot attack was proved beyond doubt.

Pathankot Attack Intel update : Pakistan carries out raids, makes arrests

Newsroom24x7 Desk

Nawaz SharifIslamabad : 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.