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Pathankot attack: NIA gets Centre’s nod to prosecute Masood Azhar

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Monday gave permission to National Investigation Agency (NIA) to file charge sheet against Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar for the Pathankot terror attack in January this year.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Monday gave permission to National Investigation Agency (NIA) to file charge sheet against Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar for the Pathankot terror attack in January this year.

Azhar is accused of masterminding the January 2 attack on the Pathankot airbase in which seven security personnel were killed. Azhar is also wanted for the Uri attack which was carried out by suspected JeM terrorists on September 18th, in which 18 defence personnel were killed.

The MHA has given prosecution sanction to NIA under sections 18, 20 and 28 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) act, Explosives Act and various sections of Indian Penal Code against Azhar, his brother Abdul Rauf and two handlers of the attack.

NIA will now soon file a charge sheet against Azhar and these three claiming that “Azhar had hatched the conspiracy to attack strategic IAF base in Pathankot in the first week of January 2016 with an intention to kill Air Force personnel and destroy the assets”.

India has been trying to get the UN Sanctions Committee to ban the JeM chief and had submitted an exhaustive dossier in which listing out his terror activities since 1993.

The charge sheet against Azhar will now come handy for the Indian government to make a stronger case for declaring Azhar as ‘global terrorist’ in the United Nations Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee list.

India has been facing a hurdle in the matter as China has collaborated with Pakistan to block New Delhi’s proposal to ban Masood Azhar. According to reports, 14 out of 15 countries were willing to designate Azhar but China alone decided to go against all the others in the bid.

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