ISLAMABAD: Pakistan said on Wednesday it will send a special team to the Pathankot air base in India near the Pakistan border to investigate into last week’s deadly assault.
“Pakistan to send special investigation team to India for further investigation of terrorist attack,” a PM House statement read.
“In spirit of the cooperative approach, it was 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 statement said.
The committee formed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif comprises AIG Punjab CTD Rai Tahir, Director IB Lahore Azeem Arshad, AIG CTD K-P Salahuddin Khan, Director FIA, Lahore Usman Anwar, Brigadier Noman Saeed of the ISI, and Lt Col Irfan Mirza of the MI.
The PM House confirmed several members of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM) group have been arrested following initial investigation into the Pathankot air base attack, together with the information provided by India.
“The offices of the organisation are also being traced and sealed and further investigations are underway,” the statement added.
The developments came during a high-level meeting chaired by the prime minister during which the current security situation came under discussion.
Army chief General Raheel Sharif, DG ISI, Lahore corps commander, ministers of interior and finance, Punjab chief minister and other senior civil, military and police officials were present during the meeting.
The decision comes following initial investigation conducted in Pakistan.
“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,” the statement added.
“The meeting reiterated that in line with our decision to counter and completely eliminate terrorism, Pakistan would remain engaged with India on this issue.”
India has expressed confidence Pakistan will deliver on its promise of investigating any alleged links to the Pathankot air base attack, saying Islamabad should be given more time.
US Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday urged Pakistan and India to continue talks despite the Pathankot attack. According to PM House, Kerry called Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and expressed hope that the bilateral talks between Pakistan and Indian will continue despite the terrorists’ attempt to thwart it by attacking the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot.
Urging prime ministers of both the countries to play the leadership role to ensure the continuation of dialogues, Kerry said India-Pakistan talks are needed for the regional stability.
He also praised Nawaz’s leadership skills amid difficult times in the wake of recent Pathankot attack in India.
Earlier, New Delhi shared with Islamabad some evidence of the Pathankot attackers’ purported links to Pakistan. The evidence was said to have included some voice recordings and the cellular phone numbers of the attackers’ handlers which were allegedly traced to Pakistan.