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Terrorists attack Pathankot Air Force Base

2 Jan 2016
Terrorists attack Pathankot Air Force Base
  • The Pathankot Air Force base was attacked by a group of six terrorists who entered posing as security personnel.
  • The attack continued for three days resulting in the death of 7 Indian security personnel as well as of all six terrorists involved.
  • Officials suspected Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammad of carrying out the attacks; however, the Kashmir based United Jehad Council claimed responsibility for the attack.

Strategic significance of the attack

Significance
Strategic significance of the attack
  • The Pathankot Air Base is located 50 km from the Pakistan border and is the primary base for the MIG 21 Bison fighters and the MI-35 attack helicopters.
  • The base serves as a strategic attack position in case of war with Pakistan, being the first line of attack for the Indian Air Force.
  • Sources state the terrorists were instructed to "blow up" the MI-35s.

How did the terrorists enter the base?

How
How did the terrorists enter the base?
  • It later emerged that the SP of Gurdaspur, Salwinder Singh was assaulted by a group of men dressed in army fatigues, who were believed to be the terrorists involved in the Pathankot attack.
  • The terrorists car-jacked his SUV and used it to drive to the base.
  • The NIA will subject Singh to a polygraph test over alleged inconsistencies in his statement after the incident.

India warns of calling off Indo-Pak talks

Fall-out
India warns of calling off Indo-Pak talks
  • India handed over the evidence to Pakistan, linking the Pakistan based JeM to the attacks, so that Islamabad can take action against those involved.
  • Prime Minister Modi told the cabinet that the bilateral talks would not resume until Islamabad took decisive action against the JeM.
  • Foreign Secretary level talks scheduled for January 15 may now be postponed in light of this evidence.

NIA traces terrorist's calls to Pak

8 Jan 2016
NIA traces terrorist's calls to Pak
  • As the investigation into the Pathankot attack continues, the NIA has released two Pakistan based phone numbers which were used by the terrorists during the attacks.
  • The NIA has also stated that the Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Maulana Masoor Azhar was the 'handler' who coordinated the attack.
  • The details are incontrovertible evidence that elements on Pakistani soil are responsible for the attacks in India.

Pakistan arrests several JeM members, seals offices

13 Jan 2016
Pakistan arrests several JeM members, seals offices
  • Several individuals belonging to JeM, which is suspected to have engineered the Pathankot terror attack, were arrested by Pakistani authorities.
  • The authorities also sealed JeM's offices.
  • The action came after India hinted that Islamabad's "prompt and decisive" response may become the deciding factor whether foreign secretary-level talks get scheduled between the 2 countries.
  • Pakistan may also send a probe team to India.

JeM Chief taken into 'protective custody' in Pak

14 Jan 2016
JeM Chief taken into 'protective custody' in Pak
  • In a sign of progress in the Pathankot attacks case, Pakistani authorities have claimed to have apprehended JeM Chief, Maulana Masood Azhar.
  • Pakistan's Federal Minister of State Lt General Qadir Baloch said that Masood Azhar was taken into 'protective custody' and not arrested, while speaking on the matter to Geo News.
  • Indian authorities have not received official confirmation on the matter from Pakistan yet.

No evidence on Sayeed's role in Pathankot: Pakistan

8 Feb 2016
No evidence on Sayeed's role in Pathankot: Pakistan
  • A Pakistani Special Investigative Team concluded that there is no evidence to suggest that Maulana Masood Azhar, the chief of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), masterminded the Pathankot assault.
  • Sources said the SIT informed the civil and military leadership in Pakistan that the Indian evidence was insufficient to implicate Maulana Azhar.
  • However, the team did not rule out involvement of some low cadre members of the JeM.

Pakistan files FIR against unknown individuals

19 Feb 2016
Pakistan files FIR against unknown individuals
  • The Pakistani police have filed an FIR in the Pathankot airbase attack against unknown persons.
  • The move records the first official acknowledgement by Pakistani officials of the country's involvement in the attacks.
  • The FIR was lodged under sections 302, 324 and 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code, and sections 7 and 21-I of the Anti-Terrorism Act but did not include Maulana Masood Azhar's name.

Pakistan arrests 3 suspects over Pathankot investigation

28 Feb 2016
Pakistan arrests 3 suspects over Pathankot investigation
  • Pakistan's Anti-Terrorism Court granted six-day physical remand to three suspects, Khalid Mahmood, Irshadul Haque and Muhammad Shoaib, said to be involved in the Pathankot airbase attack.
  • The suspects had been arrested by Pakistan's Counter Terrorism Department from a rented house near Chand Da Qila bypass.
  • The three were suspected of being the main facilitator of the Pathankot attacks; however, they have denied all charges.

Pak probe team arrives in India

27 Mar 2016
Pak probe team arrives in India
  • A Pakistani probe team arrived in India to survey the Pathankot airbase and meet NIA officials to discuss the progress of the terror attack investigation.
  • The five-member team includes ISI and Military Intelligence officials led by Chief of Punjab Counter Terrorism Department and Additional Inspector General of Police, Muhammad Tahir Rai.
  • They were granted a 15 day visa to complete all investigation formalities.

NIA submits names of Pathankot attackers to Pak

31 Mar 2016
NIA submits names of Pathankot attackers to Pak
  • The National Investigation Agency (NIA) submitted the identity of the four terrorists who attacked the Pathankot airbase and their two Pakistan-based Jaish handlers to the Pakistani investigative team.
  • The NIA added that Nasir Hussain, Hafiz Abu Bakar, Umar Farooq and Abdul Qayum were residents of Pakistan.
  • Rajnath Singh stated that Pakistan also acknowledged that the Pathankot attack was orchestrated on their soil.
Sources