Pak PM Sharif issues statement on the operation as two countries are set to hold talks
GN Bureau | January 13, 2016
Pakistan has taken big step against terrorist today after years of reluctance even to acknowledge their presence. The Pakistani police on Wednesday raided and arrested members of the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed in connection with the Pathankot terror attack.
Offices of Jaish-e-Mohammad were sealed during the raids. This is the first major action taken by Pakistan after the January 2 terror attack on the Pathankot air base in which seven Indian soldiers were killed.
The arrests were announced hours after Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif held a review meeting with top officials.
A special investigation team of Pakistani officials will also travel to India "in the spirit of cooperative approach", the prime minister’s office said in a statement.
India has alleged that the attack was orchestrated by Jaish and had handed over proof that the terrorists were in touch with their handlers in Pakistan before the attack.
Pakistan had, in its initial response, said that phone numbers and call transcripts supplied by India did not check out and that the numbers were not registered there.
Amid uncertainty over talks expected this week between the two countries, New Delhi has said that Pakistan must take strong action against those responsible for the Pathankot attack. The air base incursion came days after prime minister Narendra Modi made a surprise stop at Lahore on his way back from Kabul to greet Nawaz Sharif on his birthday.
This is the statement issued by the Pakistan PM's Office:
A high level meeting chaired by the prime minister reviewed the prevailing security situation. The meeting was attended by ministers of interior and finance, chief minister, Punjab, advisor on foreign affairs, COAS, DG ISI, corps commander Lahore, director general intelligence bureau and other senior civil, military and police officials.
The meeting noted with satisfaction that as part of Pakistan's commitment to eliminate terrorism from our soil and the expressed national resolve not to allow our territory to be used for acts of terrorism anywhere, considerable progress has been made in the investigations being carried out against terrorist elements reportedly linked to the Pathankot incident.
Based on the initial investigations in Pakistan, and the information provided, several individuals belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammad, have been apprehended. The offices of the organization are also being traced and sealed. Further investigations are underway.
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.
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