Pakistani authorities have lodged an FIR into the Pathankot terror attack case, officials informed. The FIR has been registered after weeks of probe into the assault that led to the postponement of Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary-level talks.
The FIR was registered at Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) centre at Gujranwala in Punjab province on Thursday. According to a CTD official, the FIR was needed to start police and judicial proceedings on the basis of evidence collected in connection with the attack for which India has blamed Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM) militant group
India has identified Maulana Masood Azhar as the mastermind of the attack. It has also blamed his brother Rauf and five others for carrying out the attack that killed all six terrorists and seven Indian soldiers. The FIR number 06/2016 was lodged under section 302,324 and 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code, and sections 7 and 21 –I of the Anti-Terrorism Act. Nobody has been named in the report lodged on the basis of information provided by India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval that four attackers probably crossed from Pakistan into India and attacked the airbase on January 2.
The attack led to the postponement of a scheduled meeting between Foreign Secretaries of Pakistan and India in January in Islamabad. Since then, no date had been fixed for talks. The FIR also shows the telephone numbers contacted by the militants during the attack. A police official said that after the registration of the FIR, any accused can be presented before the court for the start of a formal trial.
The FIR has reportedly been registered on the recommendations of a six-member special team probing the attack Last month CTD police Gujranwala had presented three JeM militants before an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) for possessing jihadi literature. The suspects were arrested by CTD from a seminary run by JeM in Mundeyki, where the headquarters of the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed;s Jammat-u-Dawah is located.
Pakistan Prime Minister Sharif had formed the six-member investigation team headed by Additional Inspector General of Punjab;s CTD Rai Tahir to probe India’s assertion that JeM was behind the attack.