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Pakistan Arrests Masood Azhar and Aides in Connection with Pathankot Attack

Pakistani cleric Maulana Masood Azhar (C) enters a mosque in Islamabad along with his guards 27 January 2000. Azhar, who is regarded as a key figurehead for Kashmiri Muslim militant groups, was freed from an Indian jail to end an hijacking in Afghanistan last month. He has called for a holy war against India to fight for the Kashmiri separatist cause in which more than 25,000 people have died since 1989. AFP PHOTO/Tanveer MUGHAL

Pakistani cleric Maulana Masood Azhar (C) enters a mosque in Islamabad along with his guards 27 January 2000. Azhar, who is regarded as a key figurehead for Kashmiri Muslim militant groups, was freed from an Indian jail to end an hijacking in Afghanistan last month. He has called for a holy war against India to fight for the Kashmiri separatist cause in which more than 25,000 people have died since 1989. AFP PHOTO/Tanveer MUGHAL

Following India’s persistent pressure, Pakistan is reported to have arrested the masterminds behind the Pathankot terrorist attack. According to Geo TV, Maulana Masood Azhar , the Jaish-e-Mohammad chief, his brother Abdul Rehman Rauf and some other militants of his dreaded outfit were also detained by the Pak security forces. Azhar’s office was also sealed following the arrest.

Earlier there were reports of several individuals being arrested as per a press release from the Prime Minister’s Office. However there was no official position regarding the same with Azhar. The Pakistani action, which was reviewed at a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, come as the fate of the FS-level talks scheduled for Friday hung in balance with just two days for Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar to go to Islamabad for talks with his counterpart on resuming the bilateral dialogue process.

As a follow up, Pak has also said that it is thinking of sending a special investigation team to Pathankot as it requires more details to continue the cooperation with India on the issue. Meanwhile a PMO statement has expressed satisfaction that as part of Pakistan s commitment to eliminate terrorism from its soil and the expressed national resolve not to allow the territory to be used for acts of terrorism anywhere.

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