JIT to investigate attack: Sanaullah
Gujranwala—The Punjab counter-terrorism department registered on Friday a case against the alleged attackers of the Pathankot airbase in India’s northern province of Punjab and their abettors.
According to reports, the counter-terrorism department of the Punjab police lodged FIR number 06/2016 in CTD police station Gujranwala under sections 302, 324 and 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), and sections 7 and 21-I of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
Following the registration of the FIR, investigations have been launched while a join investigation team will probe the attack and bring the perpetrators of the attack to justice.
Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah addressing the media said, “The information provided by India was used to file the case and if need be, Pakistan will ask India for more information.”
“Registration of the FIR is proof of Pakistan’s resolve against terrorism,” he added.
Seven Indian security officials were killed when gunmen mounted the brazen assault on the IAF base in Indian Punjab on January 2, 2015. New Delhi blamed the attack on Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammad militant group, and postponed the foreign-secretary-level talks.
After the attack, New Delhi said it had provided Islamabad with intelligence information to take action against the perpetrators who allegedly belonged to Pakistan.
In response to the Indian claim that Pakistan-based outfit Jaish-e-Muhammed was behind the attack, Islamabad formed a special investigation team comprising officials from civil and military intelligence agencies to ascertain the claim. The STI was supposed to visit India, though it said there was no evidence of involvement of the JeM top cadres in the attack.
Subsequently, Pakistan apprehended scores of suspects including head of JeM Maulana Masood Azhar. However, media reports suggest Pakistani investigators have found Indian leads “inadequate” to implicate Azhar in the case.
On Friday, officials said a new joint team of military and civil intelligence agencies would look into the freshly lodged case, and that any non-state actor found to be involved would be brought to justice.
“The registration of this case shows that there is full commitment and earnestness,” Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah told reporters.
“If you want to make your image before the world better, and to dispel the propaganda of other countries that our commitment is questionable, then we have to do things like this,” he said.
Rana Sanaullah said investigators can grill any person in Pakistan in the case of India’s Pathankot airbase attack.
“A joint investigation team comprising military and civil representatives will carry out the investigation. It can interrogate anybody in Pakistan,” said the minister while speaking to media persons in Lahore.
The case has been registered on complaint of Interior Ministry Deputy Secretary.
“There are just a handful of anti-state elements in Pakistan, and in Punjab there are almost nonexistent,” he claimed, while replying to a question.