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China blocks India’s request for U.N. to blacklist Masood Azhar | Reuters

NEW DELHI China has blocked India’s request to add the head of the Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad to a U.N. Security Council blacklist of groups linked to al Qaeda, India said on Friday.India has accused Jaish-e-Mohammad and its top leader, Maulana Masood Azhar, of masterminding several attacks, including a deadly assault on an Indian air base in January.Pakistani security officials interrogated Azhar and his associates after the attack, and said they found no evidence linking him to it.Jaish-e-Mohammad has already been blacklisted by the 15-nation Security Council, but not Azhar, an Islamist hardliner and long-time foe of India.Foreign ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said that India had requested that Azhar be added to the list nine months ago and had received strong backing from all other members of the council.But China, which put a hold on the move in April, had now blocked it, he said.

“We had expected China would have been more understanding of the danger posed to all by terrorism,” he said in a statement.Swarup added that the inability of the international community to take the step showed the “prevalence of double standards in the fight against terrorism”.China’s foreign ministry said there were different views about the case, so China had put forward a “technical shelving” to give more time for consultation, but that regretfully no consensus had been reached.

China’s aim is to maintain the authority and effectiveness of name listing by the committee discussing the case, which accords with Security Council resolutions and is the responsible thing to do, it said in a statement sent to Reuters.China will continue to maintain communication with all parties, it added.

India has long accused its neighbour and rival Pakistan of using Jaish-e-Mohammad as a proxy to mount attacks on Indian soil, including in the disputed Kashmir region, and earlier gave what it called “actionable intelligence” to Pakistan, including telephone intercepts.Pakistan denies giving any aid to Kashmir-based militants.If Azhar was blacklisted by the U.N. Security Council, he would face a global travel ban and asset freeze. (Reporting by Paritosh Bansal in NEW DELHI and Ben Blanchard in BEIJING; editing by Mike Collett-White and Jason Neely)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

First Published On : Dec 30, 2016 19:02 IST

India renews efforts to seek UN action against LeT, JeM, their ‘shadowy supporters’

United Nations: India has renewed its demand for international action against Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror groups and “their shadowy supporters”.

Denouncing the two organisations, whose leadership is based in Pakistan, as affiliates of Al Qaeda, India’s Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin told the Security Council that it was imperative to take action against the support they get from outside.

File image of Syed Akbaruddin. IBNliveFile image of Syed Akbaruddin. IBNlive

File image of Syed Akbaruddin. IBNlive

In an implied criticism of China, he blamed the “split” in the UN bodies that mete out sanctions on terrorist organisations for the world body’s inability to deal with the terrorism.

China has blocked India’s efforts to have international sanctions imposed on Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar by a committee that takes action against Al Qaeda and its affiliates. Azhar was behind the attack on the Pathankot air force base this year that left seven Indian soldiers dead.

As a member of the Security Council, China has also provided cover for Pakistan releasing on bail Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the LeT commander who masterminded the 2008 attack on Mumbai which killed more than 160 people. He was already on the UN list of those facing sanctions as terrorists.

“We need to address, as an imperative, the support that terrorist organizations like the Taliban, Haqqani Network, Daesh, AI Qaeda and its designated affiliates such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed which operate entirely outside the fabric of international law draw from their shadowy supporters outside Afghanistan,” Akbaruddin said.

“While the Taliban sanctions regime remains split for more than five years, the designated terrorist group makes concerted effort to capture and hold territory,” he said.

“Therefore, for numerous Afghan women, men and children there is no respite from the plague of terrorism.”

The international community has to make “it clear that we will neither roll over in the face of terror, nor will we of allow the roll back of the achievements of the resolute people and government of Afghanistan in the last decade and a half,” Akbaruddin said.

First Published On : Dec 20, 2016 14:46 IST

Address support for terror from outside Afghanistan: India tells UN in clear reference to Pakistan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> In a clear reference to Pakistan providing safe havens to terror groups, India has told the UN that the international community needs to urgently address the backing outfits like the Haqqani Network, LeT and JeM draw from their “shadowy supporters” outside Afghanistan.”Experience, as well as academic research, provides ample support for the assertion that conflicts in which foreign assistance is available to shadowy entities that fight legitimate state authorities tend to be more severe and last longer than other types of conflict,” India’s Ambassador to the UN Syed Akbaruddin said in a Security Council session on the situation in Afghanistan.Without naming Pakistan, Akbaruddin said sustainable peace in Afghanistan is contingent upon terror groups and individuals being denied safe havens in the country’s neighbourhood and the international community must address the issue of the support that terror outfits like the Taliban and al-Qaeda get from their supporters outside Afghanistan.
ALSO READ Pakistan as victim & perpetrator: Different takes on terrorism in Asia”If we are to bring sustainable peace to Afghanistan, groups and individuals that perpetrate violence against the people and the government of Afghanistan must be denied safe havens and sanctuaries in Afghanistan’s neighbourhood,” he said.”We need to address, as an imperative, the support that terrorist organisations like the Taliban, Haqqani Network, Daesh, al-Qaeda and its designated affiliates such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e Mohammed which operate entirely outside the fabric of international law draw from their shadowy supporters outside Afghanistan,” Akbaruddin said here yesterday.
ALSO READ Pakistan’s ‘outstanding’ issue is its support to terrorism, says India after Trump-Sharif phone callHe pointed out to the meeting in the 15-nation Council that it is apparent that efforts by nations for rebuilding institutions, infrastructure and networks in Afghanistan are being “undermined, schools are being destroyed, mosques bombarded and religious gatherings targeted”.”It is also evident that those who perpetrate these heinous crimes have survived and thrived only with support and sanctuaries on the outside,” he said, in a veiled but strong reference to Pakistan.
ALSO READ Heart of Asia declaration which named Pak-based terror outfits LeT, JeM was unanimous: Sartaj AzizAkbaruddin noted with concern that while the international community recommits to standing by the Afghan people each time the UN members discuss the situation in the war-torn country, the number of Afghan civilian and security forces casualties keeps rising.”While the Taliban sanctions regime remains split for more than five years, the designated terrorist group makes concerted effort to capture and hold territory. Therefore, for numerous Afghan women, men and children there is no respite from the plague of terrorism,” he said.The Indian envoy emphasised that the international community must introspect about the way it is approaching the situation in Afghanistan and whether there is need for course correction.

After Pathankot, JeM chief Masood Azhar owns up Nagrota attack

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as India names Jaish-e-Mohammad chief in the charge sheet for master-minding attack on an Indian Airforce base in Pathankot earlier this year, Maulana Masood Azhar continues to freely run the terror group’s online publication and brazenly claim responsibility for last month’s attack on another military camp in Nagrota from Pakistan.Following an 11-month investigation, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has named Azhar and his brother JeM’s deputy chief Mufti Abdul Rauf Asghar both resident of Bahawalpur, Pakistan along with six other members of the terrorist group for planning and carrying an attack in Pathankot on January 2. This is the first time India has charge-sheeted Azhar on terror offence, following his release in exchange of victims of Kandahar hijack.Since the Pathankot attack, Pakistan Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz claimed that Azhar was under ‘protective custody’ since January 2014. But this has not restricted the head of the proscribed terror group to propagate jihad against India or own credit for the attacks by its cadres. Earlier this month, writing in the December 6 issue of al Qalam weekly—an online media arm of the JeM— Azhar talks about significance of Babri Masjid demolition and hanging of Afzal Guru in the continuance of jihad, demonetization not impacting funding of militancy and the Nagrota attack.”This week’s publication was delayed as the attack in Nagrota was still in action at the time of writing and communication failure (on details of the attack) from Kashmir,” Azhar wrote under his pen name Saadi. On November 29, three militants entered the army camp in Nagrota killing seven personnel. The militants left behind posters claiming the attack as a revenge for hanging of Afzal Guru.Elaborating on the attack in the ‘heart of the Northern Command of the Indian Army’, Azhar says the attack was carried by the Afzal Guru squad involving five militants and two of them managed to escape to safety. “There were three security cordons around the camp… it is not easy and inexpensive to gain entry and set the stage for the attack.” He indicates that the squad was helped by people with close knowledge on the geography of the camp and who are its frequent visitors, as any strange man walking a few steps could be caught and killed by the Army.Addressing an important aspect, on where did the money to buy equipment or prepare for the attack come from, Azhar says the demonetization of high currency denomination has not deterred the Kashmiri mujaheeds nor has impacted the funding for militancy. The money changers and industrialists, Azhar says were aware of demonetization before its public announcement by PM Narendra Modi. “The Kashmiri Mujahideen, Maoists and Khalistan fighters will not suffer any financial hardship. We are able to get the small currency by exchanging dollars, pounds and euro easily. The Nagrota attack is an evidence for this.”Invoking the demolition of Babri Masjid and Afzal Guru’s death, Azhar says these two events have shaped the narrative of `Ghazwa-e-Hind’ or the jihad against India. “India could’ve stopped the demolition of Babri Masjid, but it did not. It could have stopped the hanging of Guru, but it did not. There is now no power in India that can stop their revenge.”The Indian government is desperately trying to include Azhar on the UN Security Council’s 1267 sanctions list and subject him to an assets freeze and travel ban. JeM is already proscribed by the UNSC in 2001 for its terror activities and links to the al-Qaeda. China has so far vetoed India’s appeal to that would declare him as an international terrorist.THE JAISH HAND IN 2016January 2: 4 JeM militants attack Pathankot Air Force baseMay 20: 5 JeM militants killed in an encounter, KupwaraMay 23: 2 JeM cadres killed in Lal Chowk, SrinagarAugust 17: Three JeM militants ambush an Army convoy in Baramulla killing 2 army menSeptember 18: DGMO announces JeM militants attack Army camp in Uri (though NIA and other agencies claim Lashar-e-Taiba for the attack)November 29: Three militants entered Army camp in Nagrota dressed in Army fatigues.Posters claiming revenge for Afzal Guru recovered. Five army personnel killed.

Pathankot airbase attack: NIA files chargesheet, names Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday filed a chargesheet in connection with the Pathankot airbase terror attack, and named Pakistan-based jihadi group​ Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar.Three other JeM terrorists have also been named in the chargesheet filed in Panchkula special court, reported PTI.In a pre-dawn attack on January 2, a group of heavily- armed Pakistani terrorists, suspected to be belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammed outfit, struck at the Air Force base in Pathankot.The evidence is said to include some voice recordings and the cellular phone numbers of the attackers’ handlers which were traced to Pakistan.The attack occurred just days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a ‘surprise’ visit to Sharif on his birthday on December 25 and the occasion of his granddaughter’s wedding — a move that appeared to bring the promise of better ties between the two countries in the future.However, despite the Pathankot visit of the five-member JIT team of Pak Punjab government headed by CTD Additional Inspector General of Police (IGP) Tahir Rai, no progress has been made in the investigation so far.

Heart of Asia declaration which named Pak-based terror outfits LeT, JeM was unanimous: Sartaj Aziz

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The declaration adopted at the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference, which named Pakistan-based terror outfits LeT and JeM, was unanimous, said Sartaj Aziz, advisor to the country’s Prime Minister, who attended the meet in Amritsar.On his return home, Aziz sought to play down its significance by highlighting that other groups were also mentioned in the declaration along with Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, the terror groups blamed for attacks in India.Addressing a press conference, he said the emphasis of the conference was on tackling all regional outfits to stamp down militancy. HOA is a platform for discussing reconstruction of the trouble-torn Afghanistan.The HoA declaration expressed serious concern over gravity of the security situation in Afghanistan and in many parts of the region, holding that united efforts are required to contain terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e- Mohammad, Taliban, the Haqqani Network, Al Qaida, IS and its affiliates, TTP, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, Jundullah and other foreign terrorist groups.Aziz said the declaration was unanimous and not only Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad were mentioned but several groups were named.”We are not under pressure to deal with militancy. It is not true as we are already doing it in our own interest,” he said.”I put forward the objective situation in my statement. I said that we need holistic approach, as there are different groups and foreign elements. Afghanistan is complex and needs careful handling,” Aziz said.He also defended the Pakistan government’s decision to attend the HoA conference.”It was good decision to attend HoA. It was good to attend multilateral forum…to show solidarity with Afghanistan. If we had boycotted, then India would say that first they expelled Pakistan from SAARC and now from HoA,” he said.Aziz also said that on the sidelines of the conclave he met Iranian foreign minister Jawad Zarif, foreign minister of Turkmenistan and Chinese assistant foreign minister.To a question, he said India had restricted movements of the Pakistani delegation.”Our interactions were not structured but overall there were constructive,” he said.

Nagrota, Uri attacks: LeT, JeM and Afzal Guru Squad’s free run in Pakistan should worry Delhi

Now that it looks like the fidayeen attack on 16 Corps at Nagrota in Jammu was carried out by the Afzal Guru Squad (AGS) of the Jaish-e-Mohammed, it is obvious that both the Jaish and the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) are almost competing to inflict cuts on India’s self-esteem and pride. If the terror attack at Dinanagar in Gurdaspur district in July 2015 was the handiwork of the Lashkar, Jaish hit in Pathankot in January this year. Uri in September was a Lashkar operation and now Nagrota carries the Jaish stamp, with a note written in Urdu bearing the ‘AGS’ name.

There is little to distinguish between the two terror groups that are said to be at the beck and call of the Pakistan Army establishment and the ISI. The AGS, a force of about 300 well-trained hardcore terrorists, is meant to carry out spectacular high-profile attacks. The Lashkar also carries out suicide attacks but this outfit is comparatively discreet and less flashy.

The Jaish carried out the Parliament attack in 2001, in which Afzal Guru was named as a conspirator. That is why it chose the nomenclature of AGS, that was formed after the hanging of Afzal Guru in February 2013, to embarrass India.

Army personnel take position during encounter after militants attacked an Army camp in Nagrota on the outskirts of Jammu on Tuesday morning. PTIArmy personnel take position during encounter after militants attacked an Army camp in Nagrota on the outskirts of Jammu on Tuesday morning. PTI

Army personnel take position during encounter after militants attacked an Army camp in Nagrota on the outskirts of Jammu on Tuesday morning. PTI

But while the Jaish, through the AGS, always leaves behind its imprint to claim credit, the Lashkar seldom does so. The Lashkar often even removes markings on their clothes which can be traced to Pakistan. Only if they are carrying medicines on them, those may carry a ‘Manufactured in Pakistan’ sign. It is then left to the Indian sleuths to decipher the identity of the fidayeens through seized communication sets.

The mobile phones used by Lashkar operatives have ‘Skipe’, which is an in-house Lashkar communication system developed four years ago. Another voice tool used is ‘Vibar’. Both are similar to the original apps — no originality is shown in designing new names — but the Lashkar has improvised it with a coded matrix sheet. Most of the code language is Urdu, with a few English words thrown in. Each matrix sheet is valid only for a couple of weeks, overlapping terror strikes and is extremely tough to decode.

Security experts point out that on a few occasions the Lashkar has even let Hizbul Mujahideen take credit for a strike, carried out by the LeT. These are non-fidayeen attacks since Hizbul is not known to undertake suicide attacks. This serves the Pakistani purpose of projecting as if it is an indigenous resistance to the Indian state. It makes the Hizbul look better and, on the face of it, gives the so-called movement for azaadi of Kashmir some moral legitimacy.

Lashkar, founded by dreaded terrorist Hafiz Saeed in 1987, is a bigger outfit than the Jaish with a far greater reach. Jaish was founded around 2000 by Masood Azhar, who was freed by India in return for the Kandahar hijack hostages. Both groups co-exist and apparently enjoy a free run inside Pakistan. This anecdote recounted by an asset of the Indian intelligence establishment, who had gotten close to the top commanders of the Lashkar, gives a peep into the free run the terror operatives enjoy inside Pakistan.

“He would be taken around in SUVs along with gun-toting Lashkar operatives. Whenever the vehicle would be stopped by the police at a security barricade, all they had to do was roll down the window and say ‘Lashkar se hai‘ and they would be given a green channel,” said a handler from the Indian side. The same red carpet treatment is given to Jaish operatives as well. Proof that in Pakistan, the state and the deep state co-exist in harmony, united by hate against India. Bans imposed on terror outfits are not worth the Pakistan government paper they are printed on.

The recruitment zone for Lashkar is Punjab province, given that the leadership of the outfit is dominated by people like Hafiz Saeed, who hails from the province. It targets the impoverished peasantry of Punjab, who are largely uneducated or at best, semi-literate. The Ajmal Kasab kind.

Finding young men willing to turn fidayeen is not much of a challenge, given that the Lashkar and the Jaish feed them a toxic cocktail of radicalisation, anti-India and anti-Hindu audio-visual material, with the temptation of 72 virgins in heaven thrown in. Cheaper young boys are available if picked up from the impoverished Waziristan and Sind provinces. While a Punjab recruit gets (Pakistani) Rs 5 lakh for his family after he is gone, the ones from Sind and Waziristan get only about Rs 2 lakh.

From India’s point of view, what is worrying is that over 250 terrorists of both outfits who have infiltrated into the Kashmir Valley and Jammu region between June and November are, according to sources, comfortably ensconced in habitations in small towns and villages. The fact that the locals do not give them up, by reporting them to the state, is a dangerous sign. As winter sets in, their presence on Indian soil is proof that New Delhi and Srinagar’s ability to effectively police many parts of the troubled state, especially south Kashmir, has been severely compromised.

First Published On : Dec 1, 2016 11:20 IST

India channel NDTV to be taken off air for a day over terror coverage

An Indian channel will be taken off air for a day as a penalty for its coverage of an attack on an air force base.

Pakistani spy arrested in Ramgarh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid escalating tension on the border, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) police arrested a milkman-turned-spy of Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) from the Ramgarh sector on Saturday. Besides, the security forces busted a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) module and arrested two militants involved in the attack on an army convoy in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.Police sources said milkman Bodh Raj (42) was arrested on the basis of specific intelligence inputs regarding his espionage activities along the International Border (IB). Police recovered two Pakistani SIM cards, two mobile phones, a memory card and maps showing movement and deployment of the security forces.Sources said Bodh Raj, a resident of Arnia, was under surveillance for the last four months. “Once we were confident that he was involved in espionage, we arrested him. He developed some health complications and was rushed to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with typhoid,” said a police officer.”He was passing on vital information to Pakistan regarding troop deployment and movement,” said another officer. Police are also interrogating him for his possible role in facilitating infiltration from across the border.Meanwhile, security forces busted a JeM module and arrested two top ultras — Safeer Ahmad Bhat and Farhaan Fayaz Liloo — in a joint operation by the police, army and CRPF at Baramulla.”This Jaish module is headed by a Pakistani terrorist, operating by the code name of Khalid. This module, along with the arrested duo, was involved in a terrorist attack on army and police convoy on August 16, in which two army men and one policeman were killed,” said Imtiyaz Hussain, SSP Baramulla.

Baramulla: Security forces arrest two JeM militants

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Security forces on Saturday arrested two Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants, who were allegedly involved in an attack that left two army personnel and a cop dead, from Baramulla district of Kashmir.”Two persons who were part of terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad module in Baramulla have been arrested,” a senior police official said. He said the arrested persons have been identified as Safeer Ahmad Bhat and Farhaan Fayaz.”These individuals were part of JeM terror module — operating in Baramulla and adjoining areas — headed by a Pakistani terrorist Khalid. This module was involved in the attack on security forces on August 16 in which two armymen and a cop were killed at Khwajabagh in Baramulla,” the official said.He said one AK rifle, one pistol and some ammunition were recovered from the arrested militants.

BRICS declaration doesn’t have a single word on Pakistan: Congress blasts Modi govt

Wed, 19 Oct 2016-11:45pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Congress on Wednesday dismissed government’s claim of isolation of Pakistan at the just- concluded BRICS summit and asked what was it chest-thumping about.”We do not have in the BRICS Summit Declaration a single word for Pakistan. We do not have in the BRICS Declaration a single word – forget action – on Jaish. We do not have in the BRICS Declaration a single word about LeT.”We do not have in the Declaration a single word about cross border terrorism,” party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters, insisting that the media has been “fed by the staple diet of chest-thumping, self-congratulatory press blitzkrieg by soldiers of the BJP”.He insisted that the Declaration does “not have a single word of support” on the issue from either China or Russia – India’s long time friend. He said what was significant in the Declaration is that there is “specific reference” to several other threatening organisations which threaten China and Russia “but those who threaten India have no place. What are you chest-thumping about?” “You decide for yourself whether the glass is one quarter full and three quarters empty,” Singhvi remarked.

J&K: 44 suspected terrorists arrested; Chinese, Pak flags, incriminating materials recovered

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Possibly for the first time in Kashmir, security forces have recovered Chinese flags along with incriminating material during raids at suspected hideouts of militants in Baramulla and arrested 44 people for their alleged involvement in “terror-related activities”.”Over 700 houses were searched in a span of 12 hours on October 17 in an extensive search operation in old town in Baramulla, during which 44 persons involved with terror related activities have been apprehended,” an army spokesman said.The security forces sanitised the area and a number of hideouts were busted during the operation, the spokesman said.”A large quantity of incriminating material such as petrol bombs, Chinese and Pakistani flags, Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) letter head pads, unauthorized mobile phones and seditious anti-national publicity material were seized,” he added.He said the operation was jointly carried out by teams of army, police, BSF and CRPF in 10 sensitive localities including Qazi Hamam, Ganai Hamam, Taweed Gunj, Jamia and other mohallas reportedly being used as “safe havens by the terrorists”.

Viewpoint: Brics sees rekindling of India-Russia romance

During the Brics summit, India sought to re-engage Russia more substantively after some recent turbulence in the relationship, writes Harsh V Pant.

BRICS Summit 2016: Will Modi-Putin meet restore old ties?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The strategic partnership between India and Russia dates back to October 2000 but over time the bilateral relationship drifted. While Russia turned to China and most recently Pakistan where it conducted joint military exercises, India pivoted to the United States. Along the way the US and Israel supplanted Russia as a major defence supplier but the bilateral talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Goa are likely to re-establish Moscow’s pre-eminent status in India’s defence and security calculus.On Saturday, Putin will meet Modi for the 17th India-Russia annual summit, which will be held on the margins of the BRICS Summit. On the occasion, the two leaders are expected to sign a number of defence deals and also witness the laying of the foundation concrete of Units 3 and 4 of the nuclear reactors being built with Russian assistance at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu.If the ambitious agenda (a vast menu, is how an Indian official put it) of the talks and the proposed outcomes (about 18 agreements are likely to be signed in the areas such as defence and civil nuclear cooperation) are any indicator, the Modi-Putin meeting promises to be as ‘special’ and ‘privileged’ as the strategic partnership between India and Russia.GV Srinivas, the joint secretary (Eurasia) in the Ministry of External Affairs, told reporters in Goa on Friday that “unmatched mutual confidence”, trust and goodwill cutting across party lines mark the India-Russia bilateral relationship. Their “broad geopolitical interests do not clash”; on the contrary, in some cases they coincide.Pankaj Saran, India’s ambassador to Russia, in turn, told reporters that terrorism will be a subject of the discussions. Also, the ‘wide range’ of defence deals to be signed are likely to be far-reaching in their scope and importance for India’s defence and security interests. India, he says, can also be expected to iterate its anxieties to Russia on its fledgling military ties with Pakistan. India, says Saran, is confident that Russia will reflect upon India’s concerns.Among the defence pacts to be signed will be one on the S-400 Triumph advanced anti-aircraft defence system. Some other agreements will be signed out of public view.Some other regional and global issues such as the situation in Syria, Afghanistan and other countries are also likely to come up for discussion. Saran says the “policy position” on Syria that Modi articulated when he visited Moscow in December last year for the annual India-Russia summit remains valid even today in spite of the changes on the ground in Syria and related developments at the United Nations.The India-Russia talks will take place before Modi sits down for a bilateral meeting with President Xi Jinping of China. The Sino-Indian relations have been fraught with mutual distrust and suspicion, in sharp contrast to the nature of ties between New Delhi and Moscow. India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), which has been hanging fire for a long time now, has been opposed by China on the ground that India is not a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and that Beijing wants a criteria-based exemption rather a country-specific waiver in favour of India. China’s reluctance to lift the technical hold on the proposed proscription of Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorost group’s chief Masood Azhar by the United Nations 1267 committee is also expected to come up for discussion.

Masood Azhar asks Pak to open path for mujahideen against India; show courage to resolve Kashmir issue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid ongoing tensions between Indian and Pakistan, Pathankot terror attack mastermind and Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar has asked Pakistan government to open the path for mujahideen, saying the Kashmir problem can be resolved once and for all right now. According to a report in the Indian Express, in his appeal, published in the current issue of the Jaish weekly magazine al-Qalam, Masood Azhar has called for jihadist groups to be allowed to ramp up their operations against India . Masood has also asked the Pakistan government to show courage in resolving the disputes regarding Kashmir and water sharing, adding, “All the bitter memories of 1971 will be dissolved into the triumphant emotions of 2016.”
ALSO READ Don’t lecture media, take action against Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar: Pak daily to govtAccording to the report, Azhar directly addressed Pakistan’s policy establishment and talked about how beneficial the jihadist policies backed by it in the 1990s had been for the country.“Consider India before and after the jihad in Kashmir, you will see a dramatic difference. In the course of this journey, which I have been an eyewitness to, I have seen India reduced from a serpent to an earthworm,” Azhar appealed.
ALSO READ China once again blocks UN ban on Masood Azhar citing ‘different views’Masood’s appeal comes after the civilian government informed the military about the growing international isolation of Islamabad and has sought consensus on several key actions by the state.Meanwhile, a prominent journalist Cyril Almeida has been barred from leaving Pakistan after he reported on a suspected rift between civilian and military leaderships. The Foreign Office vehemently rejected the report and termed it “speculative”. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered authorities to take “stern action” against those responsible for publishing the “fabricated” story.

Pampore encounter: Congress asks govt to handle terrorist activities with all seriousness

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking serious note of the ongoing exchange of fire between the militants and security forces in Pampore area of Kashmir, the Congress on Monday pointed out that there has been increase in terrorist activities post the September 21 surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC) and urged the BJP-led NDA regime to handle this issue with all seriousness.Congress General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed dubbed the ongoing encounter as extremely unfortunate and said that efforts should be made to stop such events.”But all of us are observing from the past few days that especially after the latest surgical strikes such events have increased, ceasefire violations have increased, terrorist activities have increased. So, the government should handle this with all seriousness,” he told ANI.Earlier on Monday, a soldier was injured in the gun battle between the security forces and militants holed up inside a government building in Pampore. As per reports, two to three militants are believed to have entered into the building of Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) in the early hours of Monday.Meanwhile, commenting on reports suggesting that the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) plans to execute a 2001 style attack on the Parliament to avenge the Indian Army’s surgical strikes, the Congress leader said this information should be taken with all seriousness.”There was an attack on the Parliament earlier when Vajpayee ji was the Prime Minister. So, the government must initiate all effective steps to ensure that such incidents are not repeated in the future,” he added.

Attack on Parliament will cross ‘red line’: Fmr Home Secy RK Singh on JeM threat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Home Secy RK Singh reacted to reports of JEM may attack parliament saying such an attack would be crossing of ‘Red line’.”Just want to convey to them that this will be crossing of ‘Red line’. After parliament attack, we had mobilised troops but did not act. We should have attacked Pakistan as it was an act of war,” RK Singh, BJP MP said.To take revenge against the surgical strikes conducted by Indian Army on the terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC), the intelligence agencies have reportedly been tipped off about Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) planning an attack on the Indian Parliament.The report also said that the chatter picked by the agencies suggested that the operatives had been told to attack the Delhi Secretariat, the Akshardham and the Lotus temple if they failed to carry out the suicide attack on parliament.In 2001, Afzal Guru had carried out an attack on the parliament. He was hanged to death on February 9, 2013, following his conviction

As revenge against surgical strikes, JeM may target Indian Parliament, says report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To take revenge against the surgical strikes conducted by Indian Army on the terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC), the intelligence agencies have reportedly been tipped off about Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) planning an attack on the Indian Parliament.JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar is thinking about attacking Indian Parliament, again, reported Times of India, saying that the intelligence agency and the Jammu and Kashmir CID had been tipped off about Jaish planning a ‘spectacular attack.’The report also said that the chatter picked by the agencies suggested that the operatives had been told to attack the Delhi Secretariat, the Akshardham and the Lotus temple if they failed to carry out the suicide attack on parliament.In 2001, Afzal Guru had carried out an attack on the parliament. He was hanged to death on February 9, 2013, following his conviction.The Interpol has already issued a fresh Red Corner notice against Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar and his brother Abdul Rauf for their alleged involvement in the attack on the Indian Air Force Base.Meanwhile, NIA is awaiting a response from Pakistan on letters rogatory seeking information and interrogation of Jaish-e- Masood Azhar and his brother Abdul Rauf in connection with the Pathankot air base strike.Last week, civil airports in western states and important ones like those in Delhi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru were put on a high alert as part of the heightened security arrangements following cross-LoC surgical strikes by the Indian army.Seven terror launch pads across the LoC were targeted by the Indian Army on the night of September 28 in a nearly five-hour-long operation during which heli-borne and ground forces were deployed.The announcement of the strikes came 11 days after the attack by Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad on an Indian army camp in Uri in Kashmir, after which Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said the attackers will not go “unpunished” and that they will not be forgiven.

Battle royale as political parties spar furiously over surgical strikes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as the political face-off over the surgical strikes got fiercer, the BJP has indicated that it will take the issue – “army’s achievements” and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “political will”– to the people as key states like Uttar Pradesh and Punjab head for elections early next year.The Opposition Congress is also gearing up to counter the BJP’s attempts to cash in on the strikes as an election plank. Three press conferences — those of Amit Shah, Congress leader Kapil Sibal, and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad — were held in the capital with a gap of two hours between each one, as charges and counter-charges flew between the Congress and the BJP through the day.A day after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s khoon ki dalali remarks, BJP chief Amit Shah held a press conference, where he pointed out that it was not the defence minister but the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) who had briefed reporters to keep the issue away from politics. He said all parties should refrain from politicising the issue.When asked if it would be an issue in the UP elections, Shah said: “We will go to the people with the issue because every responsible party should boost the morale of the army…the achievement is the army’s, but the determination and political intent is Prime Minister Modi’s.” Shah added that it showed the Modi government’s “zero tolerance” policy towards terrorism.The Opposition’s tirade seems to have given the BJP a plank to openly take up the issue with the electorate, breaking the silence of its leaders. Modi has repeatedly conveyed to his council of ministers to exercise restraint in making chest-thumping statements after the surgical strikes, but the issue could become a major plank for the party in the UP elections.Shah began his interaction with the media by condemning political parties which were questioning the surgical strikes saying they were insulting the army. He first took on Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, saying his doubts over the surgical strikes was trending on social media in Pakistan.Shah then retaliated to Rahul Gandhi’s comments. “By saying jawanon ki khoon ki dalali, he had crossed all limits. They are an insult not only to the brave armed forces and martyrs but the entire country. Is the blood of our soldiers something that you can trade?” he said.Shah said that using the word dalali for soldiers showed the Congress’ mindset. He added that the UPA government had done dalali from Bofors to the 2G scam. He also recalled the Congress’s earlier statements— maut ka saudagar and zeher ki kheti — saying both had backfired politically. Shah also sought an explanation from Congress president Sonia Gandhi for her son’s comments.Shah dismissed posters on the surgical strikes in UP saying “some zilla parishad” putting up posters should not be made an issue. This was in reference to some posters lauding the BJP for the strikes.Two hours after Shah’s press conference, Congress leader Kapil Sibal spoke to reporters and accused the BJP of distorting facts. Countering Shah’s claims that the Indian Army crossed the LoC for the first time since Independence, Sibal wondered if he (Shah) was ignorant of history or was he trying to rewrite it.”Was it Modi who crossed the LoC in 1965? Or, was it Manohar Parrikar or Amit Shah who crossed it? Who crossed the LoC in 1971? Does India’s history begin from 2014? What happened in 1999? Who crossed the LoC during Kargil?” Sibal said at a press conference at the AICC headquarters.Sibal also attacked the BJP on its Pakistan policy, claiming that the saffron party was responsible for the creation of the Jaish-e-Mohammed. “The Uri attacks would not have happened if Masood Azhar had not been released in 1999,” he said. The Congress leader also mentioned Modi’s flip-flop on Pakistan, and reminded reporters that Modi had paid a surprise visit to Pakistan for prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s birthday last year.Replying to a comment about the BJP, saying that the prime minister has not uttered a single word as far as the surgical strike was concerned, Sibal said: “When he (Prime Minister) is in power, he will not utter a single word, but when he is not in power, he will blame the armed forces. On September 15, 2013, Narendra Modi tweeted and said: “We are facing many crises. All this is happening due to the weakness of the Army — This is what he said.”The Congress leader also said that the BJP needed to show more sensitivity towards the armed forces. Sibal said that that Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar should have visited the families of the martyred soldiers instead of being felicitated in Agra at a rally.”Irresponsible statements and brandishing surgical strikes for political ends is not good for India and not good for democracy, not good for the security of the nation.”Later in the day, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad held another press conference at the BJP headquarters to counter Sibal.”What does the Congress mean by saying that the BJP made Jaish-e-Mohammad? You know who will be happy with his comment — the ISI,” Prasad said. He said the words used by the Congress were “shameful, regrettable and full of venom.”Prasad added that Sibal’s statements showed that the Congress leaders’ loyalty towards Rahul Gandhi had overtaken their patriotism.

J &K: 2 militants neutralised in attack on Rashtriya Rifles camp in Baramulla; 1 jawan martyred

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three days after the Indian Army’s surgical strike on terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), militants launched a major attack on an Army camp at Baramulla town on late Sunday evening. Late night reports said two terrorists and a Border Security Force (BSF) jawan were killed. One jawan was wounded.The gunfight started at 10.30 pm when unknown militants attacked the 46 Rashtriya Rifles camp at Janbazpora area.Taking advantage of the darkness, militants first lobbed grenades and then opened heavy fire on the camp, sources said. The Army immediately retaliated on the militants. The exchange of heavy firing between the militants and the Army was on till reports came in.“Terrorists opened fire on the Army camp. The exchange of fire is still going on”, Colonel Rajesh Kalia, defence spokesman at Srinagar, told dna.Panic has gripped the area, which has been witnessing massive protests and stone-pelting for the last few months. The entire area has been rattled by gun roars as the locals apprehend another major standoff between the troops and the militants in the area.“Colleagues in Baramulla town are phoning with reports of massive gunfire in their vicinity. Prayers for all in the area”, tweeted Omar Abdullah, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister.It was not immediately known whether it was a fidayeen strike or a standalone militant attack on the Army camp. There was no confirmation of any casualty immediately.Locals said that the entire area has been sealed and heavy volume of gunfire has broken the eerie calm in the area. “We were retiring to bed when we heard the gunshots. We do not know what is happening in the vicinity. It seems heavy gunfight is on,” said a local of the old town.The attack has come four days after Indian Army launched surgical strikes on the terror launch pads on the other side of Line of Control in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The attack comes 15 days after four Jaish-e-Mohammad fidayeens barged into the Army’s 12 brigade headquarters at Uri and unleashed mayhem, killing 19 soldiers and injuring 20 others.

An eerie calm descends on Uri which is at the heart of the Indo-Pak escalation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On a breezy evening, Sulaiman Shah, 90, is frantically looking at Haji Pir pass from his small compound here. A man who has seen three wars has never been so anxious than today. For Shah, who has witnessed death and destruction very closely, mere a mention of war sends shivers down his spine.”War is not a good thing to happen. It brings death and destruction. I have seen three wars closely and I know what it means. So my advice is to avoid war and try to give peace a chance”, said Shah.From 1947 to 1972 to 2003, the nonagenarian vividly remembers the wars and the destruction it caused to the people living near the line of control (LoC). “In 1947 people were at least able to stroll on the streets. But 1965 was a different ball game. There was massive shelling from across the LoC,” he recalled.Ask him about the situation before the 2003 ceasefire, Shah bites his lips while pointing at the Haji Pir pass. “The shells used to come from this side (points to Haji Pir pass). So many people have died in this village. Houses and other property have been damaged. We were living in constant fear,” he said.Enter 2016 escalation, Shah fears the worst given that the two countries are nuclear armed with state of art weaponry that could sound death knell for the people in case the war breaks out.”If there is shelling again we have nowhere to go. We pray that the situation does not take a turn for worse. Let there be peace,” he said.Welcome to Uri, a border area which is at the heart of the recent escalation between India and Pakistan. Nineteen soldiers were killed and 20 others injured when four Jaish-e-Mohommad fidayeens stormed into 12 brigade headquarters and unleashed mayhem on September 18.The attack sparked an outrage across the nation prompting the Indian army to launch the surgical strikes on the militant launch pads across the Line of Control in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. Two Pakistani soldiers and several militants have been killed in the strikes which was first of its kind in the recent past.An eerie calm has descended on the garrison town of Uri with people whispering about the fallout of the escalation. Fear is palpable among the local population which is on the edge since the escalation started between the two countries.”There is fear among the population. This village is in the direct range of shelling (from Pakistan given its proximity to Haji Pir pass). We have no safety mechanism. The underground bunkers, which were constructed for to shelter people during shelling, were damaged in the 2005 earthquake”, said Aftab Ahmad, a local resident here.Situated at the altitude of 2637 meters, the strategic Haji Pir pass, which connects Poonch with Uri along the LoC, was returned to Pakistan by India under Tashkent agreement.What has added to the fear factor is the congestion in the village given the population explosion in the last two decades. “The families and population have grown manifold since 2003. One family has mutated into four. If shelling happens again this village will be the worst hit”, said Aftab.Jammu and Kashmir government however is playing down the fear factor saying there is no need to panic given that the situation is under control.”There is no need to panic. Situation is under control. Our contingency plan is already in place. But so far everything is normal”, said Dr Nasir Ahmad Naqash, district development commissioner, Baramulla.

Indo-Pak trade normal in Jammu and Kashmir despite surgical strike

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Cross border trade between India and Pakistan remained unaffected in Jammu and Kashmir despite the surgical strikes by the army across the Line of Control (LoC), with 26 trucks crossing over to Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and 13 from there reaching the Indian side.As the state administration went into a huddle with army officials discussing possible evacuation of the locals from villages on the border amid heightened tensions between the two countries, trucks carrying goods from India crossed Salamabad checkpost in Uri on way to PoK.Similarly, PoK authorities said 13 trucks with goods including embroidery items crossed over into Salamabad from Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir.After necessary documentation was completed, the cross over of trucks started at 2 PM and was completed by 4 PM, officials said.They said Indian trucks carried chilli seeds, embroidery material, cumin seeds and black cardamom, while the trucks from PoK came with almonds, dried dates and mangoes.Uri, located 102 km north of Srinagar, is one of the last Teshils in Baramulla district of north Kashmir. It was in news recently after four militants of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) carried out a suicide attack on army camp killing 18 soldiers on September 18.Tension between India and Pakistan has been increasing since then. In the wee hours of Thursday, India said its troops had carried out surgical strikes inside PoK and destroyed terrorists launch pads located in that part of Kashmir.

Pakistan is a terror state: Sanctions won’t work as long as it enjoys support from China

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s address to the United Nations on Monday was candid and categorical about Pakistan belonging to a group of nations “that still speak the language of terrorism, that nurture it, peddle it, and export it.” However, many in India, including the principal opposition Congress party, are disappointed that she, or for that matter the Modi government, has not been brave enough to declare Pakistan “a terrorist state”. In fact, the Congress now demands a special session of parliament to discuss the security situation, minimise interactions with Pakistan and declare Pakistan a terrorist state.

Meanwhile, parliamentarian Rajeev Chandrashekhar has written to Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari giving notice to introduce a Bill to declare Pakistan a terrorist state. The Bill – titled Declaration of States as Sponsor of Terrorism Bill, 2016 – aims at withdrawing economic and trade relations with Pakistan, imposing economic and travel sanctions on Pakistani citizens and punishing any resident or citizen of India if he or she violates the new law on Pakistan with imprisonment for a term extending to five years in prison, or fine, or both.

What is equally notable is that fact that it is not only India where law makers want Pakistan to be declared a terrorist state. Last week in the United States (22 September), two lawmakers, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism Ted Poe and Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, moved a bill in Congress seeking designation of Pakistan as a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’. Terming Pakistan as an “untrustworthy ally” that “has also aided and abetted enemies of the US for years”, they want President Barack Obama to issue a report within 90 days of passage of the bill detailing whether or not Pakistan has provided support for ‘international terrorism’, thirty days after which “the Secretary of State must issue a follow-up report containing either a determination that Pakistan is state sponsor of terrorism or a detailed justification as to why Pakistan does not meet the legal criteria for designation.”

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

There is even a petition on the White House website asking for Pakistan to be declared as a state sponsor of terrorism. It is gathering massive support from netizens. According to The Times of India, created with a goal of 100,000 signatures on 21 September, there have been over 82,000 signatories in less than five days. The petition states that declaring Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism is “important to the people of United States of America, India and many other countries which are continuously affected by Pakistan-sponsored terrorism.”

Incidentally, this was not the first time that there are voices in the US demanding punishment to Pakistan. There have been occasions when the US lawmakers have curtailed and suspended economic and military aid to Pakistan for its duplicity on the front of fighting terrorism. In fact, in 1993, there was an equally powerful move in the US to declare Pakistan a terrorist state. Once designated a terrorist state, Pakistan or for that matter any other country, the designation triggers unilateral sanctions by the US that include “a ban on weapons exports and sales; the imposition of financial and other curbs, as well as a ban on economic assistance; and restrictions on the exports of items that can be used by the country to enhance its military capability or its ability to support terrorism.”

With the removal of Cuba from the list in April this year, North Korea in 2008, Libya in 2006 and Iraq in 1982 (that time the US was supporting Sadam Hussain), there are at present three countries designated as terrorist states under US laws : Iran, Sudan and Syria.

Coming back to Pakistan, the pertinent question is: Does Pakistan really deserve to be a terrorist state? If so, then why has it not been so designated so far?

None other than a former Pakistani ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, has written in his book, Magnificent Delusions, about how his government, through its army and intelligence agencies (ISI in particular), aids and abets the murder of civilians by terrorist organisations. Carlotta Gall , a journalist with the The New York Times and the author of The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan 2001-2014, has described in details how Pakistan facilitated the Taliban and Al-Qaeda offensives and gave shelter and protection to Osama bin Laden till his death in 2011. So much so that in 2012, a Pakistani court brought down a guilty verdict against the Pakistani doctor, Shakil Afridi, who helped the CIA locate bin Laden in May 2011 for “treason” and convicted him of 33-year prison sentence.

In fact, though a Western ally in the war on terrorism, Pakistan does more to enable the jihadis than fight them. As has been pointed out by a former US diplomat, Peter Tomsen, who served in the region, Pakistan’s spy agency, the ISI, has actively supported militant groups in Kashmir (and the rest of India and Afghanistan). Though three of those groups — Harakat ul Mujahidin, Lashkar-e Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-I Mohammad — are on the US State Department’s list of terrorist organisations, Pakistan supports them. On the Afghanistan front, the ISI assists on the Taliban, the Haqqani network, and the Hekmatyar outfit (which has just reached a compromise with the Afghan government). “It becomes plain that Pakistani spooks effectively are co-coordinating a horizontally diversified terrorist empire spanning three nations (India, Pakistan and Afghanistan)”, writes Tomsen.

Incidentally, the LeT and its leader Hafiz Saeed are proscribed by the United Nations under UNSC Resolution 1267 that requires member-states to impose asset freezes, travel bans and arms embargos. But for Pakistani ISI, Saeed is its most treasured asset against India. So is Jaish-e-Mohammad leader Masood Azhar, the mastermind behind the recent Uri-attack. Similarly, Sirajuddin Haqqani, the leader of the Haqqani network, moves freely around Pakistan and regularly visits the Pakistani intelligence headquarters of the Afghan campaign in Rawalpindi. Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, the new leader of the Taliban, guides his military campaign from his base in near the Pakistani town of Quetta. And, Al-Qaeda’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, enjoys sanctuary in Pakistan in the southwestern corner of Baluchistan.

In his book Deadly Connections: States That Sponsor Terrorism, Daniel Byman points out how Pakistan’s funding, arming, training and diplomatic support of varied terrorist groups active in Kashmir have emboldened the terrorists all over the world. So close is the tie between the Pakistani state and these outfits that its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) “selects targets, including civilian ones and knows about major attacks in advance”, writes Byman. And what is worse, it is the Pakistani Army that is “Islamicising” Jaish-e-Mohammad, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba. “Pakistan also inserted foreign fighters from the Taliban and Al-Qaeda to boost the sagging fortunes of these movements from time to time”, Byman adds.

In fact, Pakistani territory is now being used to nurture global terror, particularly in Europe and the United States. All major terror incidents have invariably some Pakistani link or the other. The bombings that injured 29 people in New York early this month was done by one Ahmad Khan Rahami, a 28-year-old naturalised US citizen born in Afghanistan, who was trained in Pakistan in 2014. Similarly, the aborted bomb attempt at New York’s Times Square in May 2010 was by Faisal Shahzad, a 30-year-old Pakistani-American, who had close links with the Jaish-e Muhammad (JeM) and LeT.

Pakistan has produced the CIA shooter Mir Aimal Kasi; the 1993 World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef (born in Kuwait to Pakistani parents); 11 September attacks (9/11) mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed; Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl’s kidnapper, Omar Saeed Sheikh; and three of the four men behind the July 2005 train and bus bombings in London. And as the Wall Street Journal columnist Sadanand Dhume points out, “the list of jihadists not from Pakistan themselves — but whose passage to jihadism passes through that country — is even longer. Among them are Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, Mohamed Atta, shoe bomber Richard Reid, and John Walker Lindh, the so-called American Taliban. Over the past decade, Pakistani fingerprints have shown up on terrorist plots in, among other places, Germany, Denmark, Spain and the Netherlands.”

As I have invariably argued, since its establishment as a separate country based on religious ideology in 1947, Pakistan has attempted to use religious extremism and terrorism as tools, in addition to its military forces, to ensure its continued existence. Pakistan has established more madrassas than schools with the objective to empower, train and recruit people for the jihad in various parts of the world. A recent study says that it has more than 150,000 religious schools (madrassas), most of whom are training recruits in extremism and violence under the name of Islam.

Despite all these clinching evidences, if Pakistan has not been declared a terrorist state by the countries that matter in the world, it is essentially because of geopolitical imperatives. Pakistan is exploiting its geographic location of connectivity to West Asia, Central Asia and South Asia to the fullest. The US has been dependent on Pakistan for logistical support in its Afghan war. Secondly, Pakistan is successfully blackmailing the rest of the world for more indulgence, lest it will be active in nuclear and missile proliferations. Thirdly, it enjoys the support of China, which behaves now as the ultimate super power of the world. No sanctions against Pakistan will work as long as it, like North Korea, enjoys the Chinese military and economic support. On the other hand, with sanctions, one will lose whatever leverage one has with Pakistan and thus will be entirely at the mercy of China (as is the case now with North Korea) to control the Pakistani misdemeanors, a highly dangerous proposition.

China’s hold on Masood Azhar’s UN terror listing to lapse soon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The six-month validity of the technical hold imposed by China on India’s bid to get JeM chief Masood Azhar designated as a terrorist by the UN will “lapse” soon and the Pathankot attack mastermind could be sanctioned if Beijing does not block the move again.On March 31 this year, China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, had blocked India’s move to put a ban on the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) leader under the Sanctions Committee of the Council. China was the sole member in the 15-nation UN organ to put a hold on India’s application with all other 14 members of the Council supporting New Delhi’s bid to place Azhar on the 1267 sanctions list that would subject him to an assets freeze and travel ban.Sources have said that the six-month validity of the technical hold is set to “lapse” in about a week-10 days time and unless China again seeks to bloc or veto the resolution on some pretext, the resolution could stand passed automatically, designating Azhar as a terrorist. The other 14 UNSC members have already supported India’s bid and the lapse of the technical hold, coupled with no further objection from China, will essentially mean that there is no opposition to the demand to get Azhar listed under the sanctions committee.Sources said that in the current environment of “growing global crescendo against terrorism”, “can China still stand up alone” and block the designation of an individual who heads an organisation that was listed as a terrorist group by the UN in 2001″. They said a possibility could be that after the lapse of the technical hold, China could seek more time on Azhar’s application, in effect allowing the technical hold to continue. However, China could be questioned by other UNSC members on such an extension, sources said, adding that other member nations in the UNSC could ask as to why Beijing needs more time even after getting a six-month time frame due to its technical hold. Sources said India is not alone in its bid to get Azhar listed as the US, UK and France had “co-sponsored” the resolution seeking Azhar’s listing.During the current UN General Assembly session, over 140 nations that have addressed the General Debate have voiced strong condemnation for the growing scourge of terrorism and vowed to combat it. Sources said against this backdrop can a nation (China) decide to go against the “global consensus” on ramping up efforts to fight terrorism by still going ahead and blocking the bid to get Azhar designated.

Burhan Wani wanted to join Indian Army, play cricket for India as a child, says father

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Since the killing of Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8, peace has finally come to the valley after 79 days of clashes between protesters and security forces in which over 80 people lost their lives.Wani’s father Muzaffar has spoken about his son’s aspirations to join the mainstream and his opinion on the Uri attack.In an interview with the Times of India, the senior Wani revealed that Burhan wanted to join the Indian Army when he was ten. “When he was 10, he told an Indian Army officer that he wanted to join the Army. He said this when a raid was being conducted to search militants in our village.” “Burhan had a strong liking for camouflage outfits,” said Muzaffar. He also said that his son would have loved to play for India and not Pakistan. Muzaffar said that they had talked about Burhan’s childhood aspiration during a conversation dissuading him from joining militancy.Speaking about the recent Uri attack, Wani said that he did not believe that Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) or Pakistan was behind it. “Even a Muslim from Hindustan can come. It could even be an attack by Kashmiri militants,” he said. He added that if there was indeed any evidence to this effect, then the matter should be probed.He also said that he liked PM Nawaz Sharif’s speech about his son, “I liked everything that Nawaz Sharif said. He said Burhan’s killing had brought a new light in this movement of freedom.”Muzaffar added that he was unhappy with PM Modi’s response to the Kashmir unrest.”More than 100 people have been killed in Kashmir in the last two months. He hasn’t shown any grief. He only expressed grief over the killing of soldiers,” he added.He also said that he wants his daughter Irm Jahan to become a teacher and believes his youngest son Naveed will study and not pick up arms.

J&K: Two JeM terrorists belonging to PoK arrested in Uri

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Security forces have arrested two PoK nationals who have been working for Jaish-e-Mohammed terror outfit and acting as guides for infiltrating groups along the line of control in Uri Sector.In a joint operation by Army and BSF, two PoK nationals were apprehended on Wednesday. During the investigation, the individuals have revealed their identities as Ahasan Kursheed and Faisal Hussain Awan and have been known to belong to Khaliana Kalan and Pottha Jahangir in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. The duo was recruited two years ago by Jaish-e-Mohammed and were guiding terrorists to infiltrate across the line of control.The details provided by them are being examined and corroborated by concerned agencies.

Uri attack: Terrorists sneaked in by cutting fence, ‘insider help’ not ruled out

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The four terrorists who stormed an army base in Uri sector on Sunday killing 18 soldiers belonged to Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and managed to sneak in by cutting the perimeter fencing of the highly-guarded army installation at two places, investigations have shown. In an indication that the terrorists were well-versed of the layout of the army base close to the Line of Control(LoC), the assailants locked the cooking room and store from outside to prevent the soldiers from leaving before setting them afire, sources privy to the probe said on Wednesday.The investigators are not ruling out “insider help” to the terrorists in view of the precise nature of the actions undertaken by the intruders once inside the army base, the sources said, adding the attackers first cut the perimeter fencing at two places.After locking the cooking room and store, two of the terrorists started moving towards the officers quarters within the base but they were gunned down before they could inflict any further damage, they said. The two Global Positioning System (GPS) sets recovered from the slain militants were damaged during the attack and have been handed over to the NIA, which is probing the case. The four intruders, who had crossed in from Pakistan- occupied Kashmir (Pok) a day earlier, were affiliated to LeT as the terrorist module bore striking resemblance to the group from the same Pakistan-based terror outfit eliminated in Poonch on September 11, the sources said.Director General Military Operations (DGMO) Lt Gen Ranbir Singh had told reporters hours after the attack that as per initial reports the slain terrorists belonged to Jaish-e-Mohammad(JeM), also a Pakistan-based terror outfit.”All four killed were foreign terrorists and had carried with them items which had Pakistani markings. Initial reports indicate that the slain terrorists belong to Jaish-E-Mohammed tanzeem,” Lt Gen Singh had said.The terrorists both at Uri and Poonch were carrying small plastic bottles containing a concoction of petroleum jelly and gelatin which was used to set the soldiers’ tents on fire, the sources said.Various intelligence agencies probing the bloodiest attack on army in Kashmir in 27 years believe that the attack could be handiwork of LeT, which has been induging in shallow infiltration — a strategy to target the first available security installation by the infiltrators after crossing the LoC.The NIA on Tuesday registered a case to probe the terror attack at the Army installation in Uri. The NIA took over the investigation from the Jammu and Kashmir Police, which had registered a case on Sunday, and began probe by collecting evidence available with the Army formation at Uri.The NIA team led by Inspector General G P Singh has been camping in Uri since its arrival on Tuesday. The team will collect the DNA samples of the four unidentified terrorists and their pictures would be shown to militants lodged in various jails of the state as well as other parts of the country.The NIA team would prepare a dossier and may make a formal request to Pakistan once the identity of the four was ascertained. Army has also instituted an inquiry into the attack with preliminary investigation suggesting the terrorists had entered the area at least a day before mounting the brazen assault.The inquiry besides ascertaining lapses, if any, would also suggest measures to prevent such attacks in the future as Pakistani-based groups were indulging more in “shallow infiltration”, which means that terrorists strike the first available installation after crossing the Line of Control.

dna Morning Must Reads: India to share proof of Pak’s links with terror outfits; US portrays NY bomb suspect as jihadist who praised Laden; and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. India set for diplomatic showdown with Pakistan at UN; proof of Pak’s links with terror outfits to be sharedA booklet showcasing evidence of Pakistan’s complicity with anti-India militants will be circulated to member countries well before foreign minister Sushma Swaraj’s speech on September 26. Read more.2. Two days after Uri attack, Army kills 10 infiltrators on LoC, jawan martyredIndian army killed at least 10 infiltrators on Tuesday when they foiled two major infiltration bids on the LoC in Uri and Naugam sectors of North Kashmir. Read more.3. Shoving off Lashkar, Jaish becomes the face of terror in Jammu and KashmirSources said the attack again proved that Jaish is the new darling of Pakistani security and intelligence agencies who want to prop up its cadres to trim down its dependence on Lashkar-e-Taiba. Read more.4. I’m very restless: Sakshi MalikAfter flurry of felicitations and promotional events following her Olympic medal-winning feat, Sakshi says she is eager to get back on wrestling mat. Read more.5. US portrays NY bomb suspect as jihadist who praised Osama bin LadenUS prosecutors charged an Afghan-born man arrested after weekend attacks in New York and New Jersey with four counts. Read more.

Security lapse led to Uri terror attack? Serious questions emerged during initial investigation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as the investigators piece together the leads in the Uri fidayeen attack, questions are being raised about the possible security lapses that might have led to the terror strike which left 18 soldiers dead and 20 others injured.Jammu and Kashmir police have formally registered a case under different sections of Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) while the National Investigation Agency (NIA) team inspected the encounter site at Uri on Monday. Indian Army too is instituting a court of enquiry to probe the fidayeen attack that killed 18 soldiers of six Bihar and 10 Dogra units.Highly placed sources said intelligence inputs about the possible terror attacks were picked up some days ago and accordingly shared with the forces on ground. Yet the Jaish-e-Mohommad fidayeens carried out the brazen attack on the highly fortified 12 infantry brigade headquarters on the wee hours of Sunday.What has baffled the investigators is the manner in which the fidayeens could breach the LoC and three tier counter infiltration security system to storm into the camp from the rare side which was least protected.Serious questions of security lapses have emerged during the initial investigation into the fidayeen attack case.”How was confidential information about the change of guard leaked? The 10 Dogra unit, which had served in the area for two and half years, was leaving for Pathankot for new posting and six Bihar unit was replacing them in Uri. Second, how come militants knew that they are camping in the tents on the rare side of the headquarters? Third, how did militants manage to storm the camp from the rare side?” said a source.Investigators suspect that the militants might have crossed the Mike Post on the LoC in Uri sector and maneuvered though ravines, gorges and dense forests to attack the camp. Nestled in the mighty Pir Panjal range, Uri is surrounded by the LoC from three sides and the nearest stretch is just four to five kilometers from the brigade headquarters.Sources said security forces failed to pick up the leads from the foiled fidayeen attack in Poonch on September 11. Four militants and a policeman were killed and six others including three army men were injured while two hostages were rescued when security forces took on the heavily armed militants holed up in two buildings close to Indian Army’s 93 brigade headquarters in Poonch town of Jammu division on September 11.Sources said the militants in Poonch were part of the fidayeen squad and they were possibly doing the reconnaissance for the attack when security forces spotted them in the area before engaging them in the gunfight.Uri and Poonch is connected through the Haji Pir pass on the LoC and the trekking distance between the two areas is far less. Security forces suspect that the two groups might have been launched from the same or neighboring launch pads by Pakistan to infiltrate into Indian side.”Investigators are trying to connect the dots”, said a source.Failed to pick leadsSources said security forces failed to pick up the leads from the foiled fidayeen attack in Poonch on September 11. Four militants and a policeman were killed and six others including three army men were injured while two hostages were rescued when security forces took on the heavily armed militants holed up in two buildings close to Indian Army’s 93 brigade headquarters in Poonch town of Jammu division on September 11.

Uri attack: Death toll reaches 18 as another jawan succumbs to injuries

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sepoy K Vikas Janardhan, who was airlifted to the Army Research and Referral Hospital in New Delhi after being critically injured in the Uri attack, succumbed to injuries on Monday, raising the toll in the terror strike to 18. Two other critically injured soldiers have also been airlifted to the military hospital in New Delhi.Seventeen soldiers were killed in the attack on Sunday, while about 23 others were injured. Of the 17 killed, eight were from the administrative section which included seven cooks.Uri, a small town located 103km north of Srinagar, woke up to heavy gunfire on Sunday when four terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammed group entered the battalion headquarters of 10 Dogra regiment and killed 17 soldiers. All the four terrorists were eliminated. PM Modi gives nod to ‘diplomatically isolate’ Pakistan: SourcesPrime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday gave the green signal to diplomatically isolate Pakistan at every international grouping following the attack in Uri on Sunday. According to sources, India is to present all actionable evidence against Pakistan if required at international bodies. The Indian Permanent Mission is to issue a statement taking on Islamabad soon after Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will make his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Uri terror attack LIVE: Modi for isolation of Pakistan on world stage; death toll now 18

Sep 19, 2016

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  • Havildar Ravi Paul, r/o Samba, Dist Jammu, Jammu & Kashmir.
  • Sepoy Rakesh Singh, r/o Vill Baddja, Dist Kaimur, Bihar.
  • Sepoy Javra Munda, r/o Vill Meral, Dist Khuti, Jharkhand.
  • Sepoy Naiman Kujur, r/o Vill Gumla, Chainpur, Jharkhand.
  • Sepoy Uike Janrao, r/o Vill Nandgaon (Kh), Dist Amravati, Maharashtra.
  • Havildar NS Rawat, r/o Vill Rajawa, Dist Rajasmand, Rajasthan.
  • Sepoy Ganesh Shankar, r/o Vill Ghoorapalli, Dist Sant Kabir Nagar, Uttar Pradesh.
  • Naik SK Vidarthi, r/o Vill Boknari, Dist Gaya, Bihar.
  • Sepoy Biswajit Ghorai, r/o Vill Ganga Sagar, Dist South 24 Parganas, West Bengal.
  • Lance Naik G Shankar, r/o Vill Jashi, Dist Satara, Maharashtra.
  • Sep G Dalai, r/o Vill Jamuna Balia, Dist Howarah, West Bengal.
  • Lance Naik RK Yadav, r/o Vill Balia, Uttar Pradesh.
  • Sepoy Harinder Yadav, r/o Vill Ghazipur, Dist Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh.
  • Sepoy TS Somnath, r/o Vill Khadangali, Dist Nashik, Maharashtra.
  • Havildar Ashok Kumar Singh, r/o Vill Raktu Tola, Dist Bhojpur, Bihar.
  • Sepoy Rajesh kr Singh, r/o Vill Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh.

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In one of the deadliest attacks on the Army in recent years, 17 jawans were killed and 19 others injured as heavily armed militants stormed a battalion headquarters of the force in North Kashmir’s Uri town early on Sunday. Four militants involved in the terror strike were killed by the Army. Heavily armed militants stormed a battalion headquarters of the Army. Explosions and gunfire erupted as the militants attacked the camp, which is located barely few metres away from the Army’s Brigade Headquarters in Uri town, 102 kms from Srinagar, around 4 am on Sunday, official sources said.

The jawans of the Dogra Regiment were sleeping in a tent which caught fire due the explosion. The fire also engulfed the nearby barracks, the sources said. 17 jawans were killed in the terror attack, the Northern Command of the Army said. Nineteen other personnel were injured in the strike in which four militants were killed.

“A group of heavily armed terrorists targeted the rear administrative base of a unit at Uri, Kashmir. In the counter action, four terrorists have been eliminated and combing operations are in progress,” the Army said in a statement. “The administrative base had large strength of troops of units turning over after their tour of duty who were stationed in tents/temporary shelters which caught fire, and resulted in heavy casualties. We salute the sacrifice of 17 soldiers who were martyred in the operation,” the statement said.

Helicopters from the Army’s 19 divisional headquarters in Baramulla have been pressed into service and the injured Army personnel have been evacuated from the encounter site, the sources said. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag are rushing to Kashmir in the wake of terror attack in Uri.

Army soldiers rush to the attack site in Uri. PTI

Army soldiers rush to the attack site in Uri. PTI

The Home Minister has also called an emergency meeting to review the situation arising out of the terror attack. The attack comes two years after militants had carried out a similar type of attack at Mohra in the same area. Ten security personnel were killed in the attack that took place on December 5, 2014.

It is believed that the attack was the handiwork of a freshly infiltrated group of militants who could have entered along the Salamabad Nallah into the town. The Home Minister has postponed his scheduled visit to Russia and the United States in the wake of the attack in Uri and the unrest in Jammu and Kashmir.

Singh also spoke to the Jammu and Kashmir Governor and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on the situation arising out of the terror strike in Uri. The Home Minister was scheduled to leave for Russia tonight for a four-day bilateral visit and later to the US on September 26 for a six-day tour to attend the Indo-US Homeland Security Dialogue. “Keeping the situation of Jammu and Kashmir in mind and in the wake of terror attack in Uri, I have postponed my visits to Russia and the US,” he said in a statement here.

The Home Minister said he has spoken to Governor N N Vohra and the Chief Minister and discussed with them the situation arising out of attack on a Army Brigade Headquarters in Uri and both of them apprised him of the overall situation in Jammu and Kashmir. “I have given instructions to Home Secretary (Rajiv Mehrishi) and other officers in the Home Ministry to closely monitor the situation in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

The Home Minister also called an emergency meeting to review the situation arising out of the attack on the Brigade Headquarters in Uri. National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, the Union Home Secretary, top Army, paramilitary and Home Ministry officials are attending it. The Home Minister has postponed his scheduled visit to Russia and the United States in the wake of the attack in Uri and the unrest in Jammu and Kashmir.

Singh also spoke to the Jammu and Kashmir Governor and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on the situation arising out of the terror strike in Uri. “Keeping the situation of Jammu and Kashmir in mind and in the wake of terror attack in Uri, I have postponed my visits to Russia and the US,” he said in a statement here.

The Home Minister said he has spoken to Governor N N Vohra and the Chief Minister and discussed with them the situation arising out of attack on a Army Brigade Headquarters in Uri and both of them apprised him of the overall situation in Jammu and Kashmir. “I have given instructions to Home Secretary (Rajiv Mehrishi) and other officers in the Home Ministry to closely monitor the situation in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

The Home Minister also called an emergency meeting to review the situation arising out of the attack on the Brigade Headquarters in Uri. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, the Union Home Secretary, top Army, paramilitary and Home Ministry officials are attending the meeting.

Uri terror attack LIVE: Modi greenlights move to isolate Pakistan on world stage

Sep 19, 2016

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  • Havildar Ravi Paul, r/o Samba, Dist Jammu, Jammu & Kashmir.
  • Sepoy Rakesh Singh, r/o Vill Baddja, Dist Kaimur, Bihar.
  • Sepoy Javra Munda, r/o Vill Meral, Dist Khuti, Jharkhand.
  • Sepoy Naiman Kujur, r/o Vill Gumla, Chainpur, Jharkhand.
  • Sepoy Uike Janrao, r/o Vill Nandgaon (Kh), Dist Amravati, Maharashtra.
  • Havildar NS Rawat, r/o Vill Rajawa, Dist Rajasmand, Rajasthan.
  • Sepoy Ganesh Shankar, r/o Vill Ghoorapalli, Dist Sant Kabir Nagar, Uttar Pradesh.
  • Naik SK Vidarthi, r/o Vill Boknari, Dist Gaya, Bihar.
  • Sepoy Biswajit Ghorai, r/o Vill Ganga Sagar, Dist South 24 Parganas, West Bengal.
  • Lance Naik G Shankar, r/o Vill Jashi, Dist Satara, Maharashtra.
  • Sep G Dalai, r/o Vill Jamuna Balia, Dist Howarah, West Bengal.
  • Lance Naik RK Yadav, r/o Vill Balia, Uttar Pradesh.
  • Sepoy Harinder Yadav, r/o Vill Ghazipur, Dist Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh.
  • Sepoy TS Somnath, r/o Vill Khadangali, Dist Nashik, Maharashtra.
  • Havildar Ashok Kumar Singh, r/o Vill Raktu Tola, Dist Bhojpur, Bihar.
  • Sepoy Rajesh kr Singh, r/o Vill Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh.

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In one of the deadliest attacks on the Army in recent years, 17 jawans were killed and 19 others injured as heavily armed militants stormed a battalion headquarters of the force in North Kashmir’s Uri town early on Sunday. Four militants involved in the terror strike were killed by the Army. Heavily armed militants stormed a battalion headquarters of the Army. Explosions and gunfire erupted as the militants attacked the camp, which is located barely few metres away from the Army’s Brigade Headquarters in Uri town, 102 kms from Srinagar, around 4 am on Sunday, official sources said.

The jawans of the Dogra Regiment were sleeping in a tent which caught fire due the explosion. The fire also engulfed the nearby barracks, the sources said. 17 jawans were killed in the terror attack, the Northern Command of the Army said. Nineteen other personnel were injured in the strike in which four militants were killed.

“A group of heavily armed terrorists targeted the rear administrative base of a unit at Uri, Kashmir. In the counter action, four terrorists have been eliminated and combing operations are in progress,” the Army said in a statement. “The administrative base had large strength of troops of units turning over after their tour of duty who were stationed in tents/temporary shelters which caught fire, and resulted in heavy casualties. We salute the sacrifice of 17 soldiers who were martyred in the operation,” the statement said.

Helicopters from the Army’s 19 divisional headquarters in Baramulla have been pressed into service and the injured Army personnel have been evacuated from the encounter site, the sources said. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag are rushing to Kashmir in the wake of terror attack in Uri.

Army soldiers rush to the attack site in Uri. PTI

Army soldiers rush to the attack site in Uri. PTI

The Home Minister has also called an emergency meeting to review the situation arising out of the terror attack. The attack comes two years after militants had carried out a similar type of attack at Mohra in the same area. Ten security personnel were killed in the attack that took place on December 5, 2014.

It is believed that the attack was the handiwork of a freshly infiltrated group of militants who could have entered along the Salamabad Nallah into the town. The Home Minister has postponed his scheduled visit to Russia and the United States in the wake of the attack in Uri and the unrest in Jammu and Kashmir.

Singh also spoke to the Jammu and Kashmir Governor and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on the situation arising out of the terror strike in Uri. The Home Minister was scheduled to leave for Russia tonight for a four-day bilateral visit and later to the US on September 26 for a six-day tour to attend the Indo-US Homeland Security Dialogue. “Keeping the situation of Jammu and Kashmir in mind and in the wake of terror attack in Uri, I have postponed my visits to Russia and the US,” he said in a statement here.

The Home Minister said he has spoken to Governor N N Vohra and the Chief Minister and discussed with them the situation arising out of attack on a Army Brigade Headquarters in Uri and both of them apprised him of the overall situation in Jammu and Kashmir. “I have given instructions to Home Secretary (Rajiv Mehrishi) and other officers in the Home Ministry to closely monitor the situation in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

The Home Minister also called an emergency meeting to review the situation arising out of the attack on the Brigade Headquarters in Uri. National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, the Union Home Secretary, top Army, paramilitary and Home Ministry officials are attending it. The Home Minister has postponed his scheduled visit to Russia and the United States in the wake of the attack in Uri and the unrest in Jammu and Kashmir.

Singh also spoke to the Jammu and Kashmir Governor and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on the situation arising out of the terror strike in Uri. “Keeping the situation of Jammu and Kashmir in mind and in the wake of terror attack in Uri, I have postponed my visits to Russia and the US,” he said in a statement here.

The Home Minister said he has spoken to Governor N N Vohra and the Chief Minister and discussed with them the situation arising out of attack on a Army Brigade Headquarters in Uri and both of them apprised him of the overall situation in Jammu and Kashmir. “I have given instructions to Home Secretary (Rajiv Mehrishi) and other officers in the Home Ministry to closely monitor the situation in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

The Home Minister also called an emergency meeting to review the situation arising out of the attack on the Brigade Headquarters in Uri. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, the Union Home Secretary, top Army, paramilitary and Home Ministry officials are attending the meeting.

China concerned over situation in Kashmir after Uri attack

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>China today voiced concern over the “escalation” of violence and “rising temperatures” in Kashmir after the Uri terror attack and called on India and Pakistan to resolve their differences through dialogue and enhance counter-terrorism cooperation.Expressing shock over yesterday’s terror attack on an army camp in Uri, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said, “We want to express our deep sympathies and condolences to the affected families and the injured.””We have noted relevant reports. We are shocked by this attack,” Lu told media briefing here when asked about India’s allegation that Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Muhammad’s involvement in the attack. “China opposes and strongly condemns all forms of terrorism. We are concerned about this escalation and rising temperatures surrounding Kashmir situation,” he said. “We hope relevant parties will have dialogue and consultation to resolve their differences and enhance counter terrorism cooperation. Only this way can they safeguard peace and security in their region,” he said.Asked how China sees the impact of the escalation of violence on its $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Lu said, “The building of the corridor is to drive the development of the regional countries. It needs the concerted efforts of all countries concerned to ensure the smooth running of this corridor.” “At the same time I need to stress that recently in this region especially in Kashmir region, there has been some escalation of tensions,” he said.”Our position is that we hope all relevant parties can work together and remain committed to resolving these disputes through peaceful consultations and jointly maintain the peace and stability of the region. This in final analysis is conducive and will bring benefits to China, India Pakistan and all the regional countries,” he said.

J&K: JeM strike at Uri army camp kill 17 soldiers; weapons with Pakistani markings seized

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A group of four heavily armed Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) fidayeen (suicide) attackers, who stormed into the 10 Infantry Brigade headquarters and unleashed mayhem, killing 17 army soldiers and injuring over 20 others here on Sunday. All the four terrorists were later killed in a fierce gunfight that lasted for more than three hours.The Indian Army assured the nation that it was prepared to thwart any nefarious designs and any evil design would be given a befitting reply.The army said that of the 17 fatalities, 13-14 soldiers died due to the fire that engulfed the tents and shelters after militants lobbed grenades and fired indiscriminately on the troops.The gunfight started around 5.30 am when troops were changing shifts. Militants barged from the rear side of the camp housing one of the administrative units.”Gunfight between the terrorists and army continued till 8.30 am and four terrorists were killed. All four were foreign nationals and had some items with Pakistani markings. Initial reports indicate that the slain terrorists belong to the Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit”, said Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh, director-general of military operations (DGMO).”Since the terrorists had some items with Pakistani markings, I have spoken to Pakistan’s DGMO and conveyed our serious concerns. I would also like to mention that all intelligence agencies are working in close synergy with the security forces and regular intelligence inputs are received and action is being taken accordingly,” said Lt Gen Singh.Four AK-47 rifles and four Under Barrel Grenade Launchers and a large number of war-like stores were recovered from the militants. “The terrorists fired incendiary ammunition, along with automatic fire of small arms that led to the tents / temporary shelters catching fire,” said Lt Gen Singh.Former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted: “If reports are correct that 13 of the 17 fatalities are because of burns, it is a crying shame that fire-retardant tents aren’t the norm! While we work out who is to be blamed for Uri and what an appropriate response will be, do we not owe our troops fire-retardant tents and huts?”.Sources said that the Dogra regiment unit, which was guarding the LoC for two-and-a half years ago was to be replaced by the Bihar regiment unit when the fidayeens barged in and lobbed grenades and fired indiscriminately on the troops.Chief of Army Staff General Dalbir Singh flew to the site of operation in the afternoon and took stock of the ground situation. Defence minister Manohar Parrikar, too, visited Srinagar and met the injured in the 92 base hospital.Embattled Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, who is facing flak for not being able to control the unrest, said that the attack seems to be aimed at triggering fresh violence and creating a war-like situation in the region.”The heightened tension in the wake of Uri attack is set to further vitiate the atmosphere in and around Jammu and Kashmir amid increasing Indo-Pak hostility. Unfortunately, people in Jammu and Kashmir, who are already mired in an agonising situation shall have to bear the maximum brunt,” she said.Mehbooba said that the perpetrators of violence must understand that violent methods have yielded nothing in the past nor will they yield anything in future.

Pak terror machinery exposed: Another top Pak terrorist caught alive

Pakistan’s terror machinery was exposed again on Tuesday when Jammu and Kashmir Police caught a top Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist alive in the Lolaab area of border district of Kupwara.Abu Ukasha alias Hanzullah of Bhawalpur Pakistan was arrested by the police during a routine patrol in Sogam market in Lolaab area on Tuesday evening. The 19-year -old Lashkar-e-Taiba was making some purchases when a police party got suspicious about him.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ukasha was immediately taken into custody and during questioning, he divulged that he was a Pakistani militant who had crossed from across the Line of Control (LOC) for subversion in this part of Kashmir.”On Tuesday evening when our patrol party was busy checking in the market they saw a suspected person. He was caught and brought to the police station where we came to know that he was a militant. Whether he is a commander or not will only be known after his sustained questioning,” said Ajaz Ahmad, senior superintendent of police, Kupwara.Police have launched a manhunt to nab his four associates who are on the run in the Lolaab valley. “We are questioning him about four of his associates. When investigation will be complete we will able to know when and where from he had come,” said Ajaz.Police have recovered a grenade from the possession of Ukasha at the time of his arrest. “He was not carrying any gun. However we recovered a grenade from him when he was taken into custody,” said the SSPSources said Ukasa’s associate and top Lashkar commander Abu Bakar was also hiding in the Lolaab valley. Security forces have intensified the operation in the jungles to nab his associates including Abu Bakar.This is the second time in the last one month that a Pakistan militant was caught alive by the security forces in north Kashmir. On May 14 Jammu and Kashmir police foiled a major fidayeen (suicide) attack after they caught a top Pakistani Jaish-e-Mohammad suicide bomber alive from the Baramulla town in North Kashmir.Twenty three year old Abdul Rehman alias Shabir Ahmad Khan of village Pollas of district Poonch in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) was arrested in a joint operation by the J&K police and 46 Rashtriya Riffles (RR) of the army.Earlier in February, police had arrested 17 year old Pakistani Jaish-e-Mohommad terrorist Mohommad Sidiq Gujjar alias Shahid of Sialkot Pakistan along with three local ultras from Baramulla.Ukasha is the fifth Pakistani militant to have been caught alive since Udhampur terror attack in August last year.Lashkar-e-Tioba militant Mohammed Naveed alias Usman of Faisalabad Pakistan was captured alive when he along with his associate Noman attacked the BSF convoy near Narsoo Nallah at Udhampur on August 5 2015.On August 27 2015 Sajad Ahmad aka Javid Ahmad alias Abu Ubadullah, a 22 year old Lashkar-e-Tioba operative of Muzaffargarh in South West Pakistan, was captured alive after all his four associates were gunned down during a fierce gun fight at two different locations in Bijhama to Panzala forests of Baramulla district.

Congress slams Modi’s foreign tours, says it has yielded ‘big zero’

In the backdrop of China playing a spoiler in India’s entry into NSG, Congress on Friday dismissed as a “big zero” the sum total of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s foreign visits and foreign policy initiatives.”Never ever in the past almost three decades, China has taken such an absolutely hostile position to India whether on the question of membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) or even getting the Jaish-e-Mohd and Maulana Masood Azhar labeled as terrorist entity”, party spokesman Manish Tewari told reporters in New Delhi. Tearing apart claims of the government and the BJP that PM’s just concluded tour to several countries including US as a big strategic and diplomatic success, he expressed concern that China “has never been so belligerent in the past 29 years”.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”China is extremely crucial and has a sensitive relationship with India but has never been so belligerent in the past 29 years ever since late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi broke the ice with China in 1987″, he said. Reports from Vienna had it that with the US pushing its case, India’s bid for membership of the 48-member grouping has received positive indications from most of the member countries but China was still playing the spoiler by persisting with its opposition. He said here has not been a single new idea, a single big idea in the Indo-US relationship in the last two years since Modi became PM. “The only one thread which the NDA-BJP Government and the Prime Minister have been taking forth is the Indo-US Civil Nuclear Energy Pact which was incubated and finally consummated during the UPA Government. “This Prime Minister has suddenly woken up to the virtues of the Civil Nuclear Energy. If I recall correctly, on 12th Sept 2008, while addressing the BJP National Executive, he had stated that the Indo-US Civil Nuclear Agreement is a sell-out. It compromises India’s National security.”So, therefore, between 2008 and 2016, there seems to be a sudden change of heart and what was national security threat in 2008 has now become the biggest swan song of both the Prime Minister and his Government.”, he remarked. He took a dig at BJP President Amit Shah for his reported remarks that the MTCR would help India become an arms exporter. “Possibly the BJP needs to understand that the Missile Technology Control Regime is about controlling proliferation of missiles. It is not about making a country into a net arms exporter. So, this is the limited understanding which the BJP and its President unfortunately have about international affairs.”, he said.”If you look at the Prime Minister and his Government’s foreign policy, in a comprehensive perspective over the past 2 years, India has neither gained diplomatically, neither strategically, neither economically and neither militarily”. “The sum total of Prime Minister’s foreign visits and foreign policy initiatives, is unfortunately a big Zero”, Tewari said.

In Punjab, drug mafia loves pipelines meant to water farms

After the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM)-led Pathankot air force station attack in January 2016, dna visited Punjab in order to explore, among other things, the drug angle to the attack.dna spoke to a number residents in villages notorious for drug abuse. On one such visit, the tour guide, himself a drug peddler, intended to show routes used by syndicates.”There is a Punjabi movie about the drug problem here. You should watch it,” said the local peddler, who was under the impression that this dna correspondent was a potential client.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Months after this gracious advice by a person, who himself was part of Punjab’s ‘drug problem’, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) asked the makers of Udta Punjab to remove all references to the state as well as other areas in Punjab. While references to Jalandhar, Chandigarh, Amritsar and Ludhiana were asked to be removed, there are dozens of places, especially those bordering Pakistan, that continue to be plagued by drugs and yet remain almost anonymous.One such place is Bhadroya, a village at the border of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, and is perhaps one of the most important junctions used by cross-border drug syndicates of Punjab. “To truly understand Punjab’s drug problem, one needs to see how things work in Bhadroya,” said a Damtal- based advocate.With a population of less than 2,000, Bhadroya falls under Nurpur tehsil of Kangra district in Himachal Pradesh and is located 5 km from the Pathankot air force station.While villages like Narot Jaimal Singh, Tash, Pharwal and Bamiyal are some places which serve as bases where chitta (local drug) is transported and stored briefly before its subsequent distribution, Bhadroya serves as the nerve centre of drug syndicates – even with the presence of army cantonments and BSF camps in Pathankot,Bhadroya is important for its ‘strategic location’ as drugs that are imported to India through the international border are forwarded not only to different parts of Punjab but also to Himachal and the national capital.Soon after the attack, the Himachal police swept the area ‘clean’ in multiple raids and had rid this village from drug dealers who were operating from one-room hutments built with the only purpose of selling drugs.”Both the Himachal and Punjab police have cracked down on drug smuggling after the attack but it’s a matter of time. There is a lot of media pressure but once everything dies down, business will be as usual,” a local drug dealer told dna en route to avail chitta.His main supplier is a woman known as Bhabhi and given the ‘hard area’ in which she supplies drugs, the woman is considered to be a tough nut to crack among drug smugglers.dna had requested a meeting with Bhabhi after taking the local peddler into confidence that this reporter wanted to sell drugs in Delhi. While waiting for a green signal from Bhabhi in a car parked on the dusty patch of road that led to Bhadroya, the meeting was cancelled after two teenagers on a motorcycle, who had been following our vehicle, informed that Bhabhi had some last-minute work.”You should have come before the attack. Things were better,” a drug dealer told dna. While travelling to Punjab’s villages, one encounters a multitude of police checkpoints and one would assume that, being a high-security border area, transporting drugs through these villages would be difficult. This, however, seems not to be the case. The network seems to have become sophisticated in the past two decades when Pakistani drug peddlers would use simple methods of transportation.The ‘package’ would be thrown over the fence or the same would be handed over after cutting through the electric fencing. In some places, where the border is completely porous, the package would be simply handed over. But as the trade grew, methods of transportation became elaborate.The International Border (IB), which divides India and Pakistan, falls on massive tracts of farming land. There are patches of farming land owned by Indians, which fall on both sides of the IB. Technically, the farming land on the other side of IB is Indian and farmers are even issued a special ID to work on the fields.The pipes meant to water the farms have long been used by drug dealers to transport their product. dna also learnt that pipes have been laid under the fence that divides India and Pakistan. The same pipes are used for transportation is no surprise to anyone here.This was confirmed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) as well as a deputy superintendent of Punjab police in Pathankot. While the Punjab administration continues to face criticism over its alleged inaction, the police in the neighbouring state are hoping against hope.”This is not the first time we have conducted raids. We have been doing so for many years. We are determined to stop the influx of drugs into Himachal,” said a senior police officer posted in Damtal area of Himachal. “We will protect Himachal,” the officer said.

Pathankot attack: Pakistani involvement is an accepted fact, says MEA spokesperson Swarup

New Delhi: Amid controversy over a media report quoting National Investigating Agency (NIA) chief Sharad Kumar on a Pakistani link to the Pathankot attack, the Ministry of External Affairs on Friday asserted that “involvement of Pakistan’s nationals in the Pathankot Air Base attack is an accepted fact”.

The Indian government has also asserted that “enough information” on the involvement of Pakistanis has been provided to Islamabad.

File image of Vikas Swarup. Twitter/MEAIndia

File image of Vikas Swarup. Twitter/MEAIndia

“I understand that DG NIA has issued a clarification that his words are being misinterpreted. Let me clarify the position. The involvement of Pakistan’s nationals in the Pathankot Air Base attack is an accepted fact,” MEA spokesman Vikas Swarup said in a statement.

“I would remind you that investigations are ongoing. Foreign Secretary had conveyed to his Pakistani counterpart when they met in New Delhi in April that it was time for review of progress in investigation in the attack after return of Pakistan’s JIT, which had gathered all evidence that it had wanted when it visited India,” the spokesman said.

He further said “enough information” has also been provided to Pakistani authorities through two Letters Rogatory to conduct investigation in Pakistan so that “all those associated in Pakistan with planning, support and execution of the attack are brought to justice”.

“At this stage, we await further response and information from Pakistan. It would be injudicious to speculate in this situation,” the spokesman added.

According to a TV channel, DG NIA had given clean chit to Pakistan government but the top NIA official later denied making any such statement.

Last month the Interpol has issued a Red Corner Notice against Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorist Shahid Latif who has been termed as “one of the crucial handlers” of the Pathankot airbase attackers by the NIA.

A five-member joint investigating team (JIT) from Pakistan visited India in March to probe the Pathankot attack in which Jaish-e-Mohamed militants attacked the Indian air base on 2 January and killed seven security personnel. The attack has led to a downslide in bilateral ties.

Pathankot attacks: NIA awaits response from Pakistan on interrogation of Maulana Masood Azhar, Abdul Rauf

NIA on Thursday night said it was awaiting a response from Pakistan on letters rogatory seeking information and interrogation of Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group chief Maulana Masood Azhar and his brother Abdul Rauf in connection with the Pathankot air base strike even as it probed the role of other “state actors” in the attack.NIA Director General Sharad Kumar said that the role of the Jaish chief and his brother, besides two other handlers, has been established and all the evidence have been shared with Pakistan. “We are still awaiting a response from them,” Kumar said, adding two letters rogatories and several reminders to Islamabad remain unanswered.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asked whether NIA has given a clean chit to Pakistani agencies, including ISI, in the matter, Kumar said “the case is still under investigations. We have not given any clean chit to anyone. We are examining the role of other players which include state actors” who might have been involved in the conspiracy behind the attack. He, however, did not elaborate on the “state actors”.
ALSO READ Probing Pathankot, NIA to examine Jaish’s role in other terror attacks tooHe denied media reports that quoted him as saying that a clean chit has been given to Pakistani agencies in the Pathankot attack case.Four terrorists were killed when they carried out a suicide attack on the strategic Indian Air Force base in Pathankot during the intervening night of January 1 and 2. Seven security personnel were also killed during the 80-hour-long gunbattle.

Security forces gun down top Jaish commander during operation in Srinagar

Srinagar: Security forces have gunned down a top commander of terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and another militant in a gunbattle in Maharaja Bazaar area of Srinagar, police said.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The slain JeM commander in the Kashmir Valley was identified as Saifullah, a police official said.

An operation was launched in Maharaja Bazaar on Monday following information about the presence of militants in the area and a gunfight ensued between security personnel and militants, the official said.

Two militants were killed in the operation on Monday, he said, adding the identity of the other militant was being established.

Pathankot attack: Army rejects Pakistan’s charge of ‘insider role’

Army on Thursday rejected Pakistan’s allegation of “insider’s role” in the terrorist attack on Pathankot airbase and said it was planned and sponsored from across the border. National Investigation Agency (NIA) that probed the terrorist attack has ruled out the role of an “insider”, the General officer Commanding in Chief (GoC-in-C) of the western command of Army, Lt Gen K J Singh told reporters on the sidelines of a function today. “NIA has carried out a thorough probe an investigation and said that there was no insider hand. The statement of the Pakistani team is incorrect”, he said. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Singh said the attack on the airbase was “planned and sponsored” from across the border. “It (the attack) was all sponsored, controlled, planned and logistics provided from across the border, especially by Jaish-e-Mohammed. People have been named, we have asked for Red Corner notice against them,” he said. “Our investigation agency has carried a very thorough probe. They have screened the concerned people and a conclusive judgment has been arrived at that there was no insider hand”, Lt Gen Singh said. Pakistan’s Joint Investigation Team (JIT) had visited India in March in connection with the probe in the Pathankot terror attack perpetrated by the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). The terrorists had intruded into the strategic air base at Pathankot on the intervening night of January one-two and mounted the assault. In the fierce encounter that erupted, seven security personnel besides four terrorists were killed.Asked about the Pakistani rangers’ statement that they had no role in the cross border tunnel detected in the R S Pura sector, he said India need to remain vigilant, as Pakistan will not give up “their efforts”. “It is unfortunate…tunnel was detected accidentally, so it is a fact that they (Pakistani side) will not give up their efforts, but we should remain vigilant”, Lt Gen Singh said. On the allegations leveled by some people that the Army was not allowing them to construct the second storey of their houses near an ammunition depot he said it is necessary for the security of the nation.”See if you have to secure your nation, you have to make some sacrifice, no security can be done without sacrifice,” Lt Gen Singh said. He said, that people need to be made aware about the terrorist activities and it is the common civilian who can give information about militant activities to the Army. “Terrorist who infiltrate moves about 10 to 15 km inside Indian territory, he has to change his clothes, he often takes lift or hijacks a car and there are certain civilians who spot this activity and if they inform the security agencies at an early stage such activities can be tackled”, he said.

State ‘involved’ with JuD, JeM: Pakistan minister admits

In a startling admission, a senior minister in Pakistan’s Punjab province on Wednesday said the government cannot take legal action against militant groups like Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) as the “state itself remained involved” with them.In an interview to BBC Urdu, Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah was asked why legal action has never been taken against anti-India groups in the province which were close to the “establishment”. “By pro-establishment groups if you mean JuD and JeM, then let me tell you that they have been declared proscribed organisations and they can no longer carry out any activity in the province,” he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The minister ruled out the possibility of any legal action against the groups saying “How can you prosecute a group with whom the state itself has been involved with?”.India accuses Pakistan of patronising terror groups like JuD and JeM who carry out attacks in the country. Pakistan, however denies the charge calling them “non-state actors” who are not in its control.The candid admission by Sanaullah about the Pakistani state’s past ties with JuD and JeM may increase international pressure on the country to act against all militants groups including the Haqqani network active in Afghanistan.

Delhi court extends police custody of three Jaish members by 10 days

A Delhi court on Sunday extended by 10 days the police custody of three suspected members of terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed, arrested for allegedly planning an attack in the national capital. Additional Sessions Judge Reetesh Singh allowed the cops to further quiz the accused persons — Mohd Sajid, Shakir and Sameer — till May 24 after the police told the court that their custody was required to unearth the larger conspiracy. The Delhi Police, in its application, sought 15 days of custody of the accused while submitting before the court that it has recovered a number of ‘WhatsApp’ messages which need to be verified and the accused were required to be confronted with some ‘Facebook’ datas. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While opposing the police application, advocate M S Khan, appearing for the accused, said that the police had already been granted sufficient time and there was no fresh ground for further custody of his clients. The court had earlier sent the accused to 10-day police custody after investigators submitted that their custodial interrogation was required to crack their Delhi module. Delhi Police had detained around 10 more persons suspected to be linked with a terror outfit planning an attack in the city and recovered explosives from their possession after a series of overnight raids in the national capital and neighbouring states. However, they were later let off after questioning. Special Cell teams had conducted raids in Delhi and UP in a joint operation of Delhi Police and a central intelligence agency. All the three accused were suspected to be members of a sleeper unit of a terror outfit, planning an attack in the national capital and other cities, police said.

One of the three youth had contacted a Jaish operative: police

Investigators interrogating the three youths arrested for their suspected links with banned terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) on Monday said that one of them had contacted a JeM operative who is believed to be an associate of a man believed to be one of the handlers in the Pathankot airbase attack.The prime accused, Sajid, had allegedly contacted one Rashid Awan, who police said is an active JeM operative, and Awan is an associate of one Qasib Jan who is suspected to be one of the handlers in the Pathankot incident, an official privy to the investigation said. Sleuths of Special Cell are digging into more details to gather more evidence on the matter.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, Delhi Police today said that it will soon have its own “deradicalisation” centre and a monitoring team to track down youths getting radicalised over social media and provide them with the right counselling.The decision came after the force’s anti-terrorism unit Special Cell detained 10 youths for their alleged ideological leaning towards JeM and later let them off, failing to gather adequate evidence. The three arrested ones, being interogated at the Special Cell office, are Sajid, Sameer Ahmed and Shakir Ansari. All 13 youths were picked up after late night raids on Tuesday.

Something’s seriously wrong: Parl panel criticises counter-terror mechanism in Pathankot attack

“Something is seriously wrong with the country’s counter- terror security establishment.” These were the scathing observations on Tuesday of the Parliamentary Standing Committee which discussed the Pathankot terror attack, which took place on 2 January.

The panel criticised the home ministry, pointing out the flaws in the security arrangement of the ‘most secure airbase’ in the country. According to an NDTV report, the panel said that despite fencing, floodlights and patrolling by the BSF personnel along the border, the terrorists were able to sneak in.  “Pathankot airbase’s security cover was not robust and had a poorly guarded perimeter wall,” the panel is further reported to have observed. They also recommended that the airbase be kept out of bounds for the public.

Six terrorists had attacked the Pathankot airbase in early January. The operation lasted three days and seven military personnel were killed.

The committee said it is constrained to note that despite concrete and credible intelligence inputs received from abducted and released SP of Pathankot and through interception of communication between terrorists and their handlers by the terrorists disclosing that they were planning an attack on a defence establishment, the security agencies were so ill-prepared to anticipate threats in time and counter them swiftly and decisively, reported PTI.

According to a report by the DNA, Pradip Bhattacharya, the Chairman of the Standing Committee said security agencies were ill-prepared to counter the terrorist attack in time.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Bhattacharya noted that the militants could reach the airbase despite terror alerts being sounded well in advance. He accused security agencies of not being adequately prepared to anticipate and counter the threats.

The DNA report quotes Bhattacharya as saying that there continue to be unsafe conditions at the strategically important Pathankot airbase.

According to a Zee News report, Bhattacharya questioned who passed on the information to the Air Force authorities.

The committee had interacted with the officers posted at the Indian Air Force Base, could not state how Pakistan-based terrorists managed to sneak inside the IAF base.

The panel said there cannot be two opinion on the fact that Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad terror group was behind this ghastly attack which was established through interception of calls between terrorists and their handlers based in Pakistan, thanks to their use of robbed mobile phones from Pathankot SP and his friend.

Besides, weapons, ammunition and many items found in the possession of killed terrorists are also said to be having ‘Made in Pakistan’ marking.

“In view of the ease with which the terrorists sneaked into our side from Pakistan, the Committee understands that the attack cannot take place without active support from the security and intelligence agencies of Pakistan as four armed men cannot easily pass through heavy Pakistani defence establishment situated near border area,” it said.

“The Committee understands that in this attack, the role of Punjab Police is also very questionable and suspicious as even after abduction of Punjab Police SP, the Punjab Police took long time in arriving at the conclusion that their abduction was not just a criminal robbery but it was going to be serious national security threat,” it noted.

The panel said it failed to understand why the terrorists let the SP and his friend off, which should be thoroughly examined by National Investigation Agency.

“Besides, the Committee is of the view that the role of narco-syndicate active in border areas of Punjab should also be investigated as the terrorists might have taken help of channels or networks used by smugglers to infiltrate the border, shelter and carry out terror attack,” it said.

The committee recommended that in view of the serious attacks from across the international border in the area, the government should pay attention to effectively sealing the border through enhanced patrolling, fencing, flood lighting
etc.

“The Committee recommends that the Pathankot airbase which is very close to border should be declared high security zone and should be properly secured through round-the-clock patrolling and making it out-of-bounds for general people residing around the airbase,” it said.

The panel noted that the submission of the Home Ministry that the NIA is handling the investigation of this case and terrorists belonged to the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad, led by Maulana Masood Azhar, were found to be behind the attack but the Committee would like to be apprised what made the government of India to seek help of Pakistan into probe of this terror attack and invite a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) from Pakistan to India.

A five-member JIT from Pakistan had visited India in March, to review and collect physical evidence. They had also interviewed key witnesses through the NIA.

But in April, the JIT claimed that India had staged the Pathankot attack and hence denied NIA permission to enter Pakistan and carry out their investigations.

With inputs from PTI

Sushma Swaraj to raise issue of JeM chief Azhar Masood with China in Moscow

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who will leave on Saturday to attend the Russia-India-China (RIC) trilateral in Moscow, will raise the proscription of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar with her Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of the meeting.”I am going to Moscow. The final investigation report into fire tragedy in which we lost Pooja Kallur and Krishma Bhonsle is on my agenda,” Swaraj tweeted.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She added that she will also be taking up the matter of Yasir, an Indian national from Srinagar who was killed in Kazan in Russia.After the attack on the Pathankot airbase in January, India in February had written to the UN calling for immediate action to list Masood Azhar under the UN Sanctions Committee.All were told that if there are no objections were raised, the designation will be announced after the expiry of the deadline, but just hours before the deadline, China requested the UN committee to keep on hold the designation.China said, that any listing would have to meet the requirements, stressing that it was the Council members’ responsibility to ensure that the criteria were followed.Swaraj will embark on a two-nation visit today where she will travel to Iran for a Joint Commission meeting and from there she will fly to Russia for the trilateral.

Pathankot terror attack probe: JIT evaluating information shared by India, says Pakistan MoFA

On the contrary to reports published by ‘Pakistan Today’ on Tuesday that the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) concluded that the Pathankot terror attack was staged by India to spread a ‘vicious propaganda’ against Pakistan, Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on Thursday said investigations are underway and the JIT is evaluating information shared by the Indian side.On a question of likelihood of the Foreign Secretary level talks between the two nations, MoFA spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said, “Both countries are in contact with each other and it has been reiterated from both sides that modalities are being worked out. I will again state that negotiations are the best means to resolve the issues. I have read the statement of the Indian Foreign Secretary you are referring to and in that also there was indication that the talks would take place.” Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar reportedly stated that Pathankot shows that the biggest issue between Indian and Pakistan is terrorism.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>National Investigation Agency (NIA) DG Sharad Kumar had on April 1 told the media that the investigation agency briefed the Pakistan JIT on investigations in the terror attack carried out by the Jaish-e-Mohhamed on January 2. “The Pakistan JIT in turn shared with NIA, the result of investigation conducted by them so far in Pakistan. On JIT’s request, the NIA provided certified postmortem reports, DNA reports, CDRs, articles seized from the scene of crime,” he added.The Director General of NIA said the Pakistani JIT was given access to 16 witnesses, including Superintendent of Police Salwinder Singh, his cook and some formal witnesses as per agreed term of references. “The JIT informed us that they were collecting admissible evidences outside Pakistan under the provision section 188 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), Pakistan, that would legally enable them to use in prosecution,” he added.He also said that the investigation agency sought some voice sample of senior office bearers of JeM and DNA samples of mother of slain terrorist Naseer Hussain. “The Pakistan JIT assured us of full cooperation and promised to execute the LR which has been received by them,” he added. Kumar also said that the NIA presented the Pakistan JIT with concrete evidences against the office bearers of JeM, who conspired the attack and the handlers of the terrorists who guided them in Pathankot.”We requested the Pakistan JIT that a team of NIA officials would also like to visit Pakistan and would like to carry forward the investigation in the Pathankot terror attack case; they have welcomed the idea,” said the NIA DG.

Pathankot Terror Attack: Former home secretary RK Singh calls JIT visit an ‘eyewash’

Former home secretary R.K Singh on Sunday described the recent visit of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) from Pakistan to probe the Pathankot terror attack as eyewash. ‘If media reports are true, then it is a very serious matter. It shows that it was just an eye-wash from Pakistan by sending the JIT to India. It also shows that Islamabad is not willing to do anything in this matter,’ Singh told ANI.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>’It also gives strength to our doubt that Pakistan would not do anything, because Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) is a proxy of their army and ISI. Whatever actions take place in India, it takes place on the command of the JeM. The Pakistani Army and the ISI would never want to take any action against its proxy,’ he added. He also said that Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was not in a position to overrule the army or the ISI. According to Pakistani media reports, Pakistani investigators were allowed to enter the Indian air force base from narrow adjacent routes instead of the main entrance and the duration of the visit was just 55 minutes, enough to take a mere walk through the military facility.On Friday, the JIT returned to Pakistan after their five-day visit to India during which all evidence pertaining to the January 2016 attack was shared with them, including the DNA of four terrorists, their identities as well as call records showing involvement of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). The JIT had on Thursday examined 13 witnesses, including former Gurdaspur Superintendent of Police Salwinder Singh.The National Investigation Agency (NIA) handed over some more documents, including DNA reports and call details of the four terrorists killed in the attack, to the JIT.The NIA handed over to JIT statements of witnesses including doctors who conducted the postmortem, call records of Superintendent of Police Salwinder Singh and his jeweller friend Rajesh Verma, whose phones had been snatched by the terrorists and allegedly used by them to speak to their contacts in Pakistan, serial number of weapons seized, besides forensic and ballistic reports.Pakistani terrorist attacked the Pathankot Air Force Station, part of the Western Air Command of the Indian Air Force in which four attackers and two security forces personnel were killed in the initial battle, with an additional security force member dying from injuries hours later.

Pakistan media says India ‘failed’ to provide evidence to JIT on Pathankot terror attack

A day after its return from India, the Pakistani Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the Pathankot attack claimed that Indian authorities “failed” to provide evidence to prove that Pakistan-based terrorists had stormed the IAF base, a media report here said on Saturday.Pakistani investigators were allowed to enter the military airbase from the narrow adjacent routes instead of the main entrance and their duration of the visit was just 55 minutes, enough to take a mere walk through the military facility, sources close to the JIT were quoted as saying by Geo News.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The JIT could not collect evidence in this limited time, the report said citing sources. The JIT members visited the Pathankot airbase on March 29 where National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials briefed them and showed them the route from where the attackers stormed the airbase.The sources were quoted as saying that the lights along the 24-km perimeter wall of the Pathankot airbase were found to be faulty on the eve of the attack. However, the report claimed that the Pakistani team was only informed about the negligence of Border Security Force (BSF) and Indian forces.The JIT returned yesterday after their five-day visit to India during which all evidence pertaining to the attack was shared with them, including the DNA of four terrorists, their identity as well as call records showing involvement of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists behind the attack on the Pathankot air base during the intervening night of January 1 and 2.The gun battle which lasted for more than 80 hours left seven security personnel dead. Bodies of four terrorists have been recovered so far.

Decks cleared for Indian probe team’s visit to Pakistan

It is official now. A team of national investigation agency (NIA) officials will soon go to Pakistan to carry out probe into Pathankot terror attack on the basis of agreement of reciprocity reached between the two countries.Pakistani authorities have given green signal to the request made by India. However, it is still not clear if the NIA team will be able to examine Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar, his brother Mohammed Rauf Asghar and others whom India has blamed for planning and executing Pathankot attack.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”NIA presented the JIT with concrete evidence against the office bearers of JeM who conspired in the attack and the handlers of the terrorists who facilitated and guided them,” said NIA director general, Sharad Kumar briefing the media after JIT left for Pakistan on Friday.”The Pakistani joint investigation team (JIT) assured us of their full cooperation and promised to execute the LR (letter rogatory) which has been received by them,” said.In a first-of-its-kind move, India virtually gave unhindered access to the Pakistani joint investigation team (JIT) during its five days of stay.Not only was it provided all the material evidence linking the attack to the Jaish, the JIT was also taken to the highly secure Pathankot airbase to show the area of engagement and allowed to examine as many as 16 witnesses, including four police officials.Besides, the JIT was also shown locations where the terrorists infiltrated and subsequently hid, as well as the spot where Ikagar Singh’s vehicle was snatched, where he was murdered, and where the terrorists hijacked the SUV Mahindra of SP Salwinder Singh. The route taken by the terrorists was also shown to the JIT.”The JIT informed us that they were collecting admissible evidence outside Pakistan under the provision of Section 188 of the Cr PC of Pakistan, that will legally enable them to be used in prosecution,” added Kumar.NIA has sought from JIT the voice samples of top JeM functionaries, and DNA sample of the mother of slain terrorist Nasir Hussain.JIT was also requested to verify the various articles seized from the terrorists, including arms and ammunition, as mentioned in the Letter Rogatory sent earlier to Pakistan. The NIA has also shared with JIT the identity and the address of the 4 terrorists and requested the JIT confirm the same.

Congress to question Narendra Modi’s Pak policy in Parliament

The Congress on Friday made it clear that it will question Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his Pakistan policy in Parliament, accusing him of falling in Pakistani trap by accepting the theory of demarcation between state and non-state actors. The party spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that the Modi government’s decision to invite Pakistan’s Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has legitimised Pakistan’s ‘singsong’ and has contradicted India’s long-standing firm stand that there is no difference between state and non-state actors and in fact the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI was behind all terror attacks in India.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Another Congress leader, Anand Sharma, said since the attack happened in India and was plotted in Pakistan, the NIA team should go to Pakistan and interrogate Masood Azhar. India should have compelled Pakistan to agree on this. But just an hour later, the NIA in a statement said, a team of Indian investigators will be travelling to Islamabad, in an unprecedented sign of cooperation between the two countries. But, the Congress leaders recalling the BJP’s shrill rhetoric on Pakistan while in Opposition, believe that Modi government has fallen into a deadly trap by allowing the probe team into the air base and that nothing except embarrassment and dismay would come out of it. They suspect the government either caved in under pressure or took the step out of inexperience.Sharma also claimed that strategy had not been discussed with the cabinet committee on security as home minister Rajnath Singh had admitted he came to know of the team’s visit through the media.”After the Ufa meet, two major attacks took place — in Udhampur and Gurdaspur. The government has not told the nation what assurances Pakistan gave on these attacks. Still, a decision was taken to allow a Pakistani team to probe in India. We don’t even know what the two national security advisers are discussing,” he said.Singhvi said the very decision to invite the Pakistani investigators and not objecting to the ISI, master of all terror attacks in India, despite the countrywide opposition,”not only gave the status of an investigator to the accused/guilty party but also accepted unconditionally Pakistan’s oft-repeated distinction between state and non-state actors, contrary to India’s consistent stand to never recognise this artificial distinction made by Pakistan.”He also hit out at home minister Rajnath Singh, defence minister Manohar Parrikar and BJP president Amit Shah presenting a strange spectacle of exhorting Indians to have faith in Pakistan as its JIT would confirm involvement of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and its chief Maulana Masood Azhar in the Pathankot terror attack. He wondered how would they now react since the JIT has reportedly concluded that they found nothing to link JeM or Azhar to the dastardly Pathankot attack.

India furious as China blocks U.N. blacklisting of militant chief | Reuters

UNITED NATIONS China has put a hold on India’s request to add the head of the Pakistani militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad to the United Nations’ al Qaeda-Islamic State blacklist, U.N. diplomats said on Friday, eliciting an angry reaction from the Indian government.

India accused Jaish-e-Mohammad of masterminding a fatal attack on the Pathankot air base in India in January. India had requested that its leader be added to a U.N. Security Council blacklist of groups linked to al Qaeda or Islamic State, the diplomats said, but China objected.

The Kashmir-based group Jaish-e-Mohammad has already been blacklisted by the 15-nation Security Council, but not its leader, Maulana Masood Azhar, an Islamist hardliner and long-time foe of India.

“We find it incomprehensible that while the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad was listed … as far back as 2001 for its well-known terror activities and links to al Qaeda, the designation of the group’s main leader, financier and motivator, has been put on a technical hold,” Indian government spokesman Vikas Swarup said in Washington.

“This does not reflect well on the determination that the international community needs to display to decisively defeat the menace of terrorism,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a nuclear summit in the U.S. capital.

It was not immediately clear why China requested that a hold be placed on the Indian request to blacklist Masood Azhar. Technical holds can be lifted and often arise when a Security Council member wants more information. But sometimes they lead to a permanent blocking of a proposed blacklisting.

Asked about China’s decision to place a technical hold on the proposed blacklisting of Masood Azhar, Chinese U.N. Ambassador Liu Jieyi offered no details.

“Any listing would have to meet the requirements” for blacklisting, he said.

Pakistani security officials have said that a special investigation team set up in Pakistan to probe the Pathankot attack found no evidence implicating Masood Azhar.

If Masood Azhar was blacklisted by the U.N. Security Council, he would face a global travel ban and asset freeze.

The Jan. 2 attack at Pathankot was followed by a raid on an Indian consulate in Afghanistan that has also been linked to Jaish-e-Mohammad, or the Army of Mohammad.

Jaish-e-Mohammad militants are blamed for a 2001 attack on India’s parliament that nearly led to a war between the nuclear-armed rivals.

(Additional reporting by David Brunnstrom in Washington; Editing by Tom Brown)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Irony alert: After blocking India’s attempt to ban JEM chief Masood Azhar, China talks about rising terrorist threat

Terrorist threat is on the rise, Chinese President Xi Jinping said and advocated China-US cooperation for promoting peace and stability in the world. “The terrorist threat is on the rise,” Xi told reporters at a joint media appearance with his US counterpart Barack Obama. He said the US and China have growing responsibilities for promoting peace and stability in the world. “As the largest developing country and the largest developed country, and also as the world’s top two economies, China and the United States have growing responsibilities for promoting world peace, stability and prosperity. There are wide areas where we should and we can work with each other,” the Chinese President said with Obama standing by his side.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Xi’s comments came ironically on the day on which his country blocked India’s bid at the UN to ban JeM chief Masood Azhar, the mastermind of the Pathankot terror attack. Welcoming Xi to Washington to attend the two-day Nuclear Security Summit, Obama said he looks forward to working with his Chinese counterpart on global economy. “As the world s two largest economies, we have a special obligation to find cooperative measures that we can take to expand growth and global demand,” he said. Obama said during their meeting, they would have “candid exchange” about areas where they have significant differences — issues like human rights, cyber and maritime issues. China did not give any reason on their move in their written communication which just says that they want to put a hold on India’s proposition. The US, UK and France had strongly supported the move and the other nations had also expressed their consent to proceed with the action on Azhar. But China, one of the five permanent members of the UN group with veto powers, collaborated with Pakistan to block the bid, sources add. China is now the only country that has stood up for Masood Azhar more than once. Ahead of the Nuclear Summit 2016, India had expressed its desire to ensure that Azhar was proscribed by the UN.“As regards the attack by JeM, we assure you that we will pursue the cause for justice. It is not a cause that we will leave or have forgotten about. I can assure you that we are proceeding with our efforts to ensure that this organisation which is already proscribed by the UN also has its leaders proscribed and that is the primary effort right now,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin, told ANI.Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Joint Investigating Team (JIT) that is probing the Pathankot attack reportedly told Indian officials that it is yet to find evidence to link Azhar to the terror attack. The Indian investigators had asked the JIT for the Jaish-e-Mohammed chief’s voice samples but were told that Azhar’s role in the incident is still being verified. India has in the past said Azhar and his brother Abdul Asghar Rauf were directly linked to the attack, which was planned at the JeM headquarters in Bahawalpur.With inputs from agencies

Pathankot terror attack: China backs Pak, blocks India’s proposal to ban JEM chief Masood Azhar

In a major disappointment for India, China collaborated with Pakistan to block New Delhi’s proposal to ban Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar. Following the attack on the Indian Air Force Base in Pathankot, killing seven Indian military personnel, India called on the United Nations for immediate action to list Azhar under the al-Qaida Sanctions Committee. According to sources, 14 out of 15 countries were willing to designate Azhar, but China alone decided to go against all the others in the bid. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>China did not give any reason on their move in their written communication which just says that they want to put a hold on India’s proposition. The US, UK and France had strongly supported the move and the other nations had also expressed their consent to proceed with the action on Azhar. But China, one of the five permanent members of the UN group with veto powers, collaborated with Pakistan to block the bid, sources add.China is now the only country that has stood up for Masood Azhar more than once. Ahead of the Nuclear Summit 2016, India had expressed its desire to ensure that Azhar was proscribed by the UN.“As regards the attack by JeM, we assure you that we will pursue the cause for justice. It is not a cause that we will leave or have forgotten about. I can assure you that we are proceeding with our efforts to ensure that this organisation which is already proscribed by the UN also has its leaders proscribed and that is the primary effort right now,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin, told ANI.Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Joint Investigating Team (JIT) that is probing the Pathankot attack reportedly told Indian officials that it is yet to find evidence to link Azhar to the terror attack. The Indian investigators had asked the JIT for the Jaish-e-Mohammed chief’s voice samples but were told that Azhar’s role in the incident is still being verified. India has in the past said Azhar and his brother Abdul Asghar Rauf were directly linked to the attack, which was planned at the JeM headquarters in Bahawalpur.

Evidence given by India against Jaish admissible in Pak courts

The material evidence that is being shared by the national investigation agency (NIA) with the visiting Pakistani investigators on Jaish-e-Mohammed’s involvement in Pathankot terror attack will be admissible in the courts in Pakistan, revealed a senior government functionary raising hopes of brining Maulana Masood Azhar to justice.”It (evidence) is more than enough for Pakistan to go after Jaish and punish them,” said the highly placed source adding that the NIA has provided joint investigation team (JIT) evidence as per their request that they had asked for to effectively prosecute perpetrators of Pathankot attack back home in Pakistan.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We were told that Pakistan would require evidence under section 188 of their criminal procedure code (Cr PC) to produce it back in their courts. It is equivalent to India’s Letter Rogatory and empowers them to collect evidence of their nationals involved in crimes in other countries. The handing over of evidence started today and will continue tomorrow or day after. It will also include examination of witnesses. The Pakistani investigators have expressed their satisfaction,” said the source.”The evidence we have gathered and given can withstand any international scrutiny. Even the DNA testing of the terrorists killed that has been shared with Pakistan is as per international norms applicable all over the world and cannot be refuted,” added the source.Expressing satisfaction over two days parleys, NIA director general Sharad Kumar said the Pakistani team has shared its investigation details with the Indian agency. He refused to give any details saying it would harm the investigation.”We have handed over list of what we need from them. We are in the process of handing over documents which they have asked from us,” said Kumar.Asserting that the principle of reciprocity agreed between India and Pakistan will allow similar facilitation to NIA team in Pakistan, inspector general, Sanjeev Kumar Singh said, “Reciprocity means what all we are doing in terms of help/cooperation to the JIT, the same would be done by them.”However, the itinerary of NIA’s visit to Pakistan is yet to be fixed.Pakistani investigators will examine key witnesses of Pathankot terror attack on Thursday and if need be on Friday. This would include Gurdaspur SP Salwinder Singh, his jeweller friend Rajesh Verma and personal cook Madan Gopal. The examination will be done not directly but through NIA officials.

Pathankot attack: India gives evidence of Jaish-e-Mohammed’s hand, Pak doesn’t contradict

Pakistan’s joint investigative team (JIT) has not contradicted details of investigations shared by the national investigation team (NIA) that clearly pinpoints Jaish-e-Mohammed’s involvement in terror attack on Pathankot airbase. Indian security establishment is treating it as a positive sign.The five-member JIT led by Punjab Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) additional IG Muhammad Tahir Rai spent over six hours at NIA headquarters in Delhi, where it got detailed presentation on the attack, that even included how the Jaish terrorists were dropped on Pakistan side across Bamiyal village in India in two Pajero SUVs.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Pakistani team was also shown evidence that establishes the involvement of Maulana Masood Azhar and his brother Muhammed Rauf Asghar in the Pathankot attack. India has sought voice samples of Rauf Asghar, who is reported to have claimed responsibility for the attack on a website.”Pakistan hasn’t either objected or contradicted to our findings, which shows we are moving in a positive direction,” said a senior officer.Other than call intercepts between terrorists and their Pakistan-based handlers like Qasim Jaan, Hafiz Abdul Shakoor and Ashfaq Ahmed, the NIA has also shared DNA samples of the terrorists killed, statements of witnesses and First Information Report (FIR) with the Pakistani team.The Pakistani investigators will be airlifted to Pathankot on Tuesday morning where the NIA will show them the exact route the terrorists took to reach Pathankot airbase after infiltrating via Bamiyal village on Indo-Pakistan border.They will also be shown the place where the two-day-long encounter took place between the terrorists and security forces inside the airbase. Top sources told dna that the area of the engagement (300mX250m) has been cordoned off by a canvas canopy to keep the technical area of the airbase out of bounds.Official sources said India decided to give complete access to the Pakistani team because of arrangement of reciprocity entered between the two countries that will allow India to have similar access in Pakistan.”As bulk of the evidence witness and key suspects are in Pakistan, the reciprocity reached will help us get to the bottom of the conspiracy,” the officer said.The NIA and the Pakistani JIT officials will meet again in Delhi on Wednesday. India is expected to allow Pakistani team to examine key witnesses – Gurdaspur SP Salwinder Singh, his friend Rajesh Verma and his cook who were kidnapped by the terrorist en-route to the airbase. The witnesses may also include the priest of the mazar that was visited by Salwinder Singh.India, however, is yet to get a Letter-Rogatory from Pakistan that would make the evidence gathered by Pakistan’s JIT in India stand legal scrutiny in a Pakistani court.”It is an important legal document that is awaited by India as the validity of the evidence collected by Pakistan in India can be challenged by judiciary in Pakistan,” a senior home ministry official said.On its part, India has already sent a Letter-Rogatory to which Pakistan has responded promising sharing of evidence gathered in their country.

Pathankot terror attack: Modi has surrendered before Pakistan, says Arvind Kejriwal

The meeting between National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials and a five-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) from Pakistan, which arrived on Sunday to probe the deadly terrorist attack on the Pathankot Air Force Base, took place on Monday at the NIA headquarter.However, the Centre faced a lot of opposition for allowing the JIT team from Pakistan to probe Pathankot attack as the team reportedly consists of Lt. Col Tanvir Ahmed of the ISI along with Punjab Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) AIG Rai Tahir as convener, Intelligence Bureau Lahore Deputy Director General Azim Arshad, Lt, Col Irfan Mirza of MI and Gujranwala CTD Investigating Officer Shahid Tanveer. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kejriwal hit out at the Modi government saying, “PM Modi has surrendered before the Pakistan government by calling the ISI. The Modi government is bargaining martyrdom of martyrs. The people of this country will not tolerate this.” The team would visit Pathankot on March 29. The NIA investigators are expected to seek details on arrests in Pakistan and the action it has taken on the basis of intercepted telephone call records handed over by NSA Ajit Doval to his Pakistani counterpart, Lieutenant General Nasir Janjua.This is for the first time in over two -and- a- half decades that Pakistan will be joining investigations in a terror attack, which was executed by Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militants.The Congress on Monday too questioned the inclusion of an ISI officer in the Pakistan Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that is visiting India to probe the January 2016 terrorist attack on the Pathankot Air Force Base. “Pakistan has not provided a letter rogatory for the visit of the JIT team, without it there is no guarantee of prosecution. One is forced to wonder what the investigation all about is. Why is an officer of the infamous ISI of Pakistan a part of the JIT? The role of the dreaded terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammad, its chief Maulana Masood Azhar, his brother Abdul Rauf, who was one of the handlers of Pathankot terror attack is well-known and widely accepted. Despite this, Pakistan Government till today has taken no action either against Jaish-e-Mohammad in terms of banning it or in terms of arresting Maulana Masood Azhar or his brother or the other handler Kashif Jaan,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told the media here.”Unfettered access being provided to them (Pakistan JIT) and also red carpet welcome accorded by the Indian government. It raises serious question with regard to judicial propriety and genuine apprehensions vis-a-vis compromising on national security. Serious questions are also being raised about Modi government’s U-turn in terms of segregation of state and non-state actors in Pakistan, who are indulging in rampant and senseless export of terror into India on an everyday basis, causing serious and irreparable loss of civilian and military lives,” he added.Surjewala further stated that the BJP Government must need to evaluate and reflect upon and answer some of the genuine apprehensions in mind of national security experts, as also, people of the country. “Prima facie it appears to be a case of an accused investigating himself. Secondly, by allowing a Pakistani investigation team to visit and investigate. BJP Government has for the first time distinguished and therefore recognized that Pakistani establishment does not have a role in perpetuating terror in India, more so in context to Pathankot terror attack,” he said.Currently, the meeting between the National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials and a five-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) from Pakistan is currently underway at the NIA headquarter. The team would visit Pathankot on March 29. According to sources, the JIT comprises of Punjab Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) AIG Rai Tahir as convener, Intelligence Bureau Lahore Deputy Director General Azim Arshad, Lt. Col Tanvir Ahmed of the ISI, Lt, Col Irfan Mirza of MI and Gujranwala CTD Investigating Officer Shahid Tanveer.On January 2, terrorists attacked the Pathankot Air Force Station, part of the Western Air Command of the Indian Air Force. Four terrorists were killed and two security personnel were martyred in the gun battle.

Pakistan team in India to probe attack

The five-member team’s arrival marks the first time that Pakistani intelligence and police officials are in to India to investigate a militant attack.

Pathankot attack: Pakistan’s Joint Investigation Team to arrive in India today

A five-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) from Pakistan to probe the deadly terrorist attack on the Pathankot Air Force Base will arrive in the national capital on Sunday.The team comprises of officials from both the military intelligence as well as civil administration. The team, which was granted visas on Friday, would visit the NIA headquarters on March 28 and Pathankot on March 29.According to sources, the JIT comprises of Punjab Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) AIG Rai Tahir as convener, Intelligence Bureau Lahore Deputy Director General Azim Arshad, Lt. Col Tanvir Ahmed of the ISI, Lt, Col Irfan Mirza of MI and Gujranwala CTD Investigating Officer Shahid Tanveer.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, reports state that the team’s movement would be restricted only to the area of the engagement between security forces and the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists.External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj earlier said that Pakistan’s joint investigation team would arrive in India on March 27 and start functioning from the very next day.Home Minister Rajnath Singh earlier said that the modalities for conducting the Pathankot attack probe would be worked out once Pakistan’s joint investigation team arrives in the country.On January 2, terrorists attacked the Pathankot Air Force Station, part of the Western Air Command of the Indian Air Force. Four terrorists were killed and two security personnel were martyred in the gun battle.

Pathankot attack: India grants visa to Pakistan’s JIT team

India on Friday granted visas to the members of Pakistan’s Joint Investigation Team who are set to arrive to begin the probe into the deadly attacks on the Indian Air Force Base in Pathankot.According to sources, the JIT comprises of Punjab Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) AIG Rai Tahir as convener, Intelligence Bureau Lahore Deputy Director General Azim Arshad, Lt. Col Tanvir Ahmed of the ISI, Lt, Col Irfan Mirza of MI and Gujranwala CTD Investigating Officer Shahid Tanveer.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, reports state that the team’s movement would be restricted only to the area of the engagement between security forces and the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists.External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had said earlier that Pakistan’s joint investigation team would arrive in India on March 27 and start functioning from the very next day.”Is it possible that when Sartaj Saheb and I meet, the Pathankot issue will not figure? Yes, we talked about the Pathankot issue as well. The Pakistan’s JIT will arrive in India on the night of March 27 and will start functioning the very next day,” she told the media in Pokhara while addressing a joint press briefing with Sartaj Aziz, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs, on the sidelines of the SAARC Council of Ministers meeting.Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said that the modalities for conducting the Pathankot attack probe would be worked out once Pakistan’s joint investigation team arrives in the country.”Pakistan JIT team is coming on March 27 to probe the Pathankot terror attack. The modalities will be worked out once they arrive,” Singh said.On 2 January, terrorists attacked the Pathankot Air Force Station, part of the Western Air Command of the Indian Air Force. Four terrorists were killed and two security personnel were martyred in the gun battle.

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