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Pathankot attack phone number traced to Jaish office: Sartaj Aziz

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz in an interview has said that a mobile phone number linked to those who attacked the Pathankot airbase had been traced to the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) group’s headquarters in Bahawalpur.

Speaking to Karan Thapar of Headlines Today, the Advisor also said that JeM chief Masood Azhar, along with a few other operatives of the group, had been kept under protective custody and that some of the JeM’s premises had been sealed. He said action would follow against Azhar and others the moment evidence became available.

He called the lodging of the FIR in connection with the Pathankot assault a “logical and positive step” in bringing the perpetrators to justice.

Masood Azhar has been named by India as the mastermind of the airbase attack.

He said a Special Investigation Team (SIT) from Pakistan may visit Pathankot in the first week of March to inquire into the attack adding that Pakistan was pursuing the investigation seriously.

Mr Aziz said the FIR filed four days back in the Pathankot attack case had created legal basis for a Special Investigation Team of Pakistan to visit India to collect evidence.

He said India had agreed to the SIT visit.

Asked about Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s comment that the SIT will not be allowed to go inside the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot, Mr Aziz said access to crime scene always helps the investigators.

On holding of the Foreign Secretary-level talks between the two countries, Aziz said the “ball is in India’s court”.

“The answer to it lies entirely with India,” he said, adding he hoped prime ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif will meet on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington next month.

The FIR in connection with the Pathankot attack on February 18, was filed against unknown persons after weeks of probe into the attack that had led to the postponement of Foreign Secretary-level talks between the two countries.

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