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Pakistan Claims Arrest of Militants Behind Indian Airbase Attack

  • Ayaz Gul

FILE - An Indian army soldier looks from inside an army vehicle at the Indian air force base in Pathankot, India, Jan. 4, 2016.

FILE - An Indian army soldier looks from inside an army vehicle at the Indian air force base in Pathankot, India, Jan. 4, 2016.

Pakistan said Wednesday it has arrested "several individuals" belonging to the Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group that India suspects masterminded the deadly assault earlier this month on an Indian airbase.

"The offices of the group are also being traced and sealed," said a statement issued by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's office after he chaired a meeting of top civilian and military officials in Islamabad to review the ongoing investigations.

The arrests were made on the basis of information New Delhi shared with Islamabad about the attack on Pathankot air base near the Pakistani border, said the official announcement, adding the high-level meeting "noted with satisfaction that... considerable progress has been made in the investigations being carried out against terrorist elements reportedly linked to the Pathankot incident."

It went on to emphasize that "in the spirit of the cooperative approach.... and in order to carry the process forward, additional information would be required, for which the government of Pakistan is considering sending a Special Investigation Team to Pathankot, in consultation with the Government of India."

Pakistan has also promised to remain engaged with India on the issue in line with its resolve to counter and completely eliminate terrorism from the region.
Jaish-e-Mohammad is one of several militant organizations India blames for attacks on its soil, including in the two-thirds of Kashmir under New Delhi's control. The rest is controlled by Pakistan and the divided Himalayan region, which has caused two of the three wars between India and Pakistan, remains the primary source of bilateral tensions.

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