Arrest of JeM chief 'positive step', but will Pak have sustained action, asks Haqqani

Arrest of JeM chief

Submitted by Newseditor on Wed, 2016-01-13 21:42 New Delhi: Hailing the detention of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar by the Pakistan Government in connection with the Pathankot terror attack, former Pakistan ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani on Wednesday said the arrest of any terrorist, especially a terrorist mastermind, is a positive step, but the question is will Islamabad have sustained action? "However, in Pakistan, we have had such steps in the past, the question is that will we have sustained action, and will we end the so-called India exception to action against terrorists, if that happens that will really be good for Pakistan. It will be good for the region, and it will be good for the world. I do not see that as a definite conclusion though," he said. "Pakistan has been under pressure from rest of the world to end terrorism for a long time, but Pakistan should end terrorism from its soil for its own sake, not just because of other countries. That said Pakistan has been able to resist such pressures in the past, finds excuses, take short steps forward, the steps backward. I hope that this time things will be different ," he added. When asked about the possibility of India calling-off the meeting of Foreign Secretaries, he said, "Whenever India cancels talks as a result of actions by terrorists, it empowers terrorists. So, it might actually be a good idea to go ahead with the talks, but have fewer expectations than people have voiced in the past." "India and Pakistan should continue their dialogue without high expectations. There is no need to expect much from a dialogue that takes place under the shadow of terrorism on one hand, and on a reluctance to talk about what Pakistan considers being the core issue," added. Haqqani. Almost 48 hours before the scheduled meeting between the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries, Pakistan Media earlier today reported that Masood Azhar was detained. Media reports suggested that Masood Azhar was also taken into protective custody and was being questioned. Geo English re-tweeted Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as saying, "Jaish-e-Mohammad offices being traced, sealed." "Pakistan to send a team of special investigators to the Pathankot airbase," tweeted Pakistan Prime Minister's Office earlier. The Pakistan Government on Wednesday said it had arrested several members of the Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group, which is suspected of being behind the Pathankot Air Base attack earlier this month. The Pakistan PMO in a statement said the government had made "considerable progress" in investigating the attack, and it wanted to send a team of special investigators to the Pathankot Air Base. "Based on the initial investigations in Pakistan, and the information provided, several individuals belonging to JeM have been apprehended," the office of Prime Minister Sharif said. "The offices of the organisation are also being traced and sealed. Further investigations are underway," it said. The statement was released after Prime Minister Sharif chaired a high-level civil-military meeting in Islamabad to discuss the regional security situation and the investigation into the Pathankot airbase terrorist attack. The meeting was attended by attended by top civilian and military leaders, including Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, Director-General (DG) Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lieutenant General Rizwan Akhtar, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, PM's Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, and other senior officials. (ANI)