Pak JIT Confirms Preventive Detention of JeM Chief Azhar: Sources

Sources: Pakistan JIT confirms the preventive detention of JeM chief Masood Azhar to the NIA. 

Updated
India
3 min read
Sharad Kumar, Director General of NIA, briefing the media. (Photo Courtesy: ANI)

Sharad Kumar, the DG of National Investigation Agency (NIA), has confirmed on Wednesday evening that Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar is indeed in preventive detention.

His statement confirms The Quint’s report that was originally filed on Tuesday evening.

(Also read: Pathankot: Exclusive Details of NIA Presentation to Pakistan JIT)

The Pakistan Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has confirmed the preventive detention of the Jaish-e-Mohammad terror group chief, Maulana Masood Azhar, to the National Investigation Agency, security official sources told The Quint.

According to sources, Pakistani investigators have already questioned Azhar about the Pathankot terror attack. The JIT is likely to share the details of Azhar’s questioning and other findings with NIA on Wednesday, 30 March. The Pakistan JIT is in India till 31 March.

On Monday, we shared all the information and evidence relevant to the investigation with the Pakistan JIT. Their arrival to India for the Pathankot probe itself is an acceptance of involvement of JeM in the terror attack. We would certainly like to question everybody involved in the attack including the JeM chief.
Senior Official, NIA

It is believed that Masood Azhar and his close aides were taken into detention after the Letter Rogatory (LR) sent by India. According to the NIA, the LR contained sufficient evidence against Azhar, his brother Rauf and the three JeM handlers, who were directly involved in the terror attack. On Monday, the NIA shared the voice samples of JeM handlers with the Pakistan JIT.

Indian Investigators to Visit Pakistan Soon

Briefing underway of Pakistan JIT members by NIA officers on Monday, 28 March (Photo Courtesy: NIA)
Briefing underway of Pakistan JIT members by NIA officers on Monday, 28 March (Photo Courtesy: NIA)

Sources also say that Indian investigators are likely to visit Pakistan next month. Without confirming the date of the visit, a senior official in NIA said that all preparations have been done. Pakistan is expected to give India access to evidence and witnesses already mentioned in the LR sent by India. The Pakistan JIT is also likely to share the list of witnesses they would like to question on Wednesday.

Terrorists’ Family Members Aware of Pathankot Attack: NIA

The NIA would like to question the family members of the four terrorists killed in the Pathankot attack. The agency has records of telephonic conversations of the family members of one of the terrorists, Nasir where he informs his mother that he had crossed the international border with three other terrorists. The intercepted reveal that the family members were fully aware of his mission, the NIA says.

The family members can provide us important leads about their children. When, how, where their children were trained. We have already raised our concern about the security of the family members with the Pakistan JIT. Now it is their responsibility to protect their citizens. 
Senior Official, NIA

The NIA officials feel that the family members of the other three terrorists were also aware of the terror attack. On Tuesday, the Pakistan JIT visited the ‘scene of the crime’ in the Pathankot air base. On Wednesday, the Pakistan JIT is expected share its findings on the probe with NIA.

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