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India may now seek access to JeM chief Masood Azhar

India may now seek access to JeM chief Masood Azhar
The development came at a time when a five-member Pakistani Joint Investigation Team (JIT) visited the base to carry out its probe into the terror strike targeting the strategic installation in Pathankot. 

Confirming the report, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) chief Sharad Kumar said that India will ask for access to Masood Azhar and another formal request would be sent once the five-member Pakistani team returned after their investigations in India. 

“We will ask for access to Masood Azhar,” NIA chief Sharad Kumar said.  Azhar, who was released from an Indian prison in 1999 in exchange for release of 155 passengers of the hijacked Indian Airlines plane, is also responsible for the attack on India’s parliament in 2001. 

During the investigation, Indian investigators identified Kashif Jaan as the main handler of the Pakistani terrorists, who were in touch with Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as they launched the assault at the base. 

The call details and intercepts analysed by the agency pointed to the involvement of JeM top brass in the attack. India handed over the evidence and demanded immediate action into the case. 

Based on the evidence, Pakistan was forced to register a case to investigate the conspiracy behind masterminding the attack. Interestingly, it does not name terror group Jaish-e-JeM, nor its chief. 

Soon after India handed over the evidence, some media report from Pakistan announced that Azhar and his relatives had been placed under house arrest in Islamabad, and that JeM’s offices had been raided and shut down. 

However, India said that they had not received any official confirmation from their Pakistani counterparts in this regard.
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