India not convinced by arrests in Pakistan

Demonstrators step on the posters of Masood Azhar, head of Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad which claimed attack on a bus that killed 44 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in Pulwama, during a protest in Mumbai, on February 15, 20

India on Tuesday remained unimpressed even as Pakistan claimed that a brother and a relative of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar had been arrested.

The JeM chief's brother had also been arrested in Pakistan after the January 2016 terror attack on the Indian Air Force (IAF) base at Pathankot in Punjab. He had been quietly set free later.

New Delhi said that it would not allow the Pakistan government to get away by just pretending to take action against the JeM and other terror organisations operating in its territory. If it was indeed a “Naya Pakistan” as Prime Minister Imran Khan's government in Islamabad claimed, it must take “immediate, credible and verifiable actions” to dismantle all terror infrastructure in the territory under its control, sources said in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Pakistan's Minister of State for Interior Shaheryar Afridi was on Tuesday quoted by media saying that at least 44 people linked to the outlawed organisations had been “arrested”. He was also quoted saying that the “arrested” included Masood Azhar's brother, Mufti Abdul Rauf, and his another relative, Hammad Azhar, who had been named in the dossier, which India provided to Pakistan with details of the role of the JeM in the February 14 suicide bombing at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir.

New Delhi was not impressed because Rauf and a few other JeM operatives had been arrested even in January 2016, when India had stepped up pressure on Pakistan to act against the organisation in the wake of the outfit's attack on Indian Air Force (IAF) base in Pathankot. Acting on a call from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his then-counterpart in Islamabad, Nawaz Sharif, had even constituted a team to investigate the role of the individuals and entities based in Pakistan in the attack on the airbase in India.

Pakistan had even sent its probe team on a visit to India. New Delhi had allowed it to visit the IAF base to conduct the investigation.

The probe, however, had not made any headway and the JeM operatives, who had been arrested in Pakistan under pressure from India, had eventually been released.

The dossier India shared with Pakistan detailed the JeM's role in the February 14 killing of over 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in Jammu and Kashmir.

Sources in New Delhi on Tuesday said India had also shared the excerpts of the dossier with United States, United Kingdom, China, Russia and France — the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council — as well as other nations.

India had provided the dossier to Pakistan on February 27 — a day after Indian Air Force carried out the air-strike on the JeM terror camp at Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of the neighbouring country.

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