Pakistan arrests militants over Indian air base attack

Jaesh-e-Mohammad militant group arrested by Pakistan over suspected mastermind attack on Indian air base

Photo by: Reuters Archive
Photo by: Reuters Archive

Indian security personnel stand guard outside the Indian Air Force (IAF) base at Pathankot in Punjab, India, January 2, 2016

Several members of the Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group were arrested by Pakistan over a suspected mastermind attack this month on an Indian air base.

Details of the arrest arrived 48 hours before a rare meeting of foreign secretaries of the nuclear-armed rivals which was provisionally scheduled to take place.

India handed evidence over to Pakistan that implicated Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed's involvement in the January 2 attack, in which seven military personnel were killed.

Pakistan has vowed that it would find out who was behind the assault.

Indian Ministry of External Affairs said it would decide late Wednesday whether Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar would travel to Islamabad on Friday.

In a statement made by Pakistani Prime Minister’s office, “considerable progress” had been made in investigating the attack, and that they wanted to send a team of special investigators to the Pathankot airbase in India.

"Based on the initial investigations in Pakistan and the information provided, several individuals belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammad have been apprehended," Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s office said.

"The offices of the organization are also being traced and sealed. Further investigations are underway," it said.

Maulana Masood, leader of Jaish-e-Mohammad, has long fought against Indian forces in India’s part of the disputed region of Kashmir.

The rivals were brought to the brink of war through an attack by the banned group’s attack on India’s parliament in 2001.

TRTWorld, Reuters