CTD Punjab registers FIR against Pathankot air base attackers and abettors

LAHORE: The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of the Punjab police on Friday registered a First Information Report (FIR) against the alleged attackers of the Pathankot airbase in India and their abettors

According to the CTD spokesman, FIR No. 06/2016 was registered in the CTD police station Gujranwala under sections 302, 324 and 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code, and sections 7 and 21-I of the Anti-Terrorism Act, the CTD spokesman said.

The FIR was registered on a complaint filed by Deputy Home Secretary Aitzaz-ud-Din.

A formal investigation was launched following the registration of the FIR, he said, adding that a joint investigation team will probe the attack and those involved will be brought to trial in accordance with law.

Indian National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval informed authorities that the four attackers had come from Pakistan and had “probably crossed the border adjacent to the Pathankot general area”. The NSA is cited as saying that while in India, they made phone calls to cell phones belonged to a proscribed organisation.

Seven Indian soldiers were killed in the January 2 attack by six gunmen who entered the high security Pathankot airbase in the northern state of Punjab

The incident comes just a day after Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar accused Pakistan of not being serious about the Pathankot probe.

Following Indian accusations earlier this year that militant group Jaish-i-Mohammad was responsible for the attacks, Pakistani authorities cracked down on the group, sealing a Jaish-run seminary in Sialkot and taking group leader Masood Azhar into protective custody.

The Pathankot air base attack occurred just days after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a ‘surprise’ visit to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on his birthday and the occasion of his granddaughter’s wedding ? a move that appeared to promise better relations between the neighbouring countries in the coming year.

After Modi’s visit, the Pakistani and Indian foreign secretaries were scheduled to meet to discuss modalities regarding the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue agreed upon during Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Islamabad for the Heart of Asia conference in December.

The dialogue was to take on matters related to peace and security, Jammu and Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, Wullar Barrage, Tulbul Navigation Project, economic and commercial cooperation, counter-terrorism, narcotics control and humanitarian issues, people to people exchanges and religious tourism.

However, the meeting between the foreign secretaries is yet to take place. Foreign Office Spokesman Nafees Zakaria on Thursday said no dates for the talks have been decided, but both sides are in touch regarding the matter.

He said both the sides are in contact on the issue, but no date has yet been fixed.

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