Islamabad: In a statement, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) confirmed the arrests of several members of the Jaish-i-Mohammad militant group, which India suspects of involvement in what was nearly week-long siege of the Pathankot Indian air base earlier this month. On Wednesday, PMO said the government wants to send a team of special investigators to the Pathankot air base in India for further investigation.
A Reuters report later cited unnamed Pakistani officials as saying head of the Jaish-i-Mohammad group, Masood Azhar, was among those arrested along with his brother and brother-in-law. This could not be independently verified. The Pathankot airbase attack was claimed by separatist group United Jihad Council, an alliance of Kashmiri militants.
The statement was issued after a high-level meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to discuss the country’s security situation.
The PMO statement further elaborated that Jaish-i-Mohammad offices in the country were being traced and sealed. These developments come two days before a meeting between the foreign secretaries is scheduled to take place. “The meeting expressed national resolve not to allow our territory to be used for acts of terrorism anywhere,” the statement said. It was also noted that “considerable progress” has been made in the investigations, being carried out against terrorist elements reportedly linked to the Pathankot incident.
“In the spirit of the cooperative approach, it was also decided that in order to carry the process forward, additional information would be required, for which the Government of Pakistan is considering to send a Special Investigation Team to Pathankot, in consultation with the Government of India.” “The meeting reiterated that in line with our decision to counter and completely eliminate terrorism, Pakistan would remain engaged with India on this issue,” the official statement said.