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Pak wants more leads from India; Pathankot probe hits dead end

2Lahore, Pakistan’s investigation into the Pathankot terror attack has made “no headway” and it will seek more evidence from India to move forward, a source privy to the developments said today, days after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif promised to make the probe’s findings public soon.
“No headway has been made in the investigation of (the) Pathankot attack so far. The ball is back in India’s court again as we need more evidence to move forward in the probe,” the source told .
The six-member Pakistan government’s team investigating the Pathankot airbase attack has written to the foreign ministry to seek more “leads” from India.
“The team has almost completed its investigation into the five cellphone numbers (allegedly used for making calls from Pakistan to India) provided by the Indian government. No further leads were found from these numbers because they were unregistered and had fake identities,” the source said, adding that the probe is not heading further.
“The team needs more evidence. We have written to the government to speak to India and apprise it of the situation and demand more evidence to move forward in the investigation here,” he said.
India had given “specific and actionable information” to Pakistan soon after the January 2 attack.
Asked about the fate of the terror attack suspects, including banned Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar, the source said, “let first more evidence come from India”.
Prime Minister Sharif had formed the six-member investigation team headed by Additional Inspector General of Punjab’s Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) Rai Tahir in the second week of January to probe the Indian government’s assertion that JeM was behind the Pathankot attack. The team has so far held two meetings.
Sharif told reporters here on Saturday that “the investigation into the Pathankot incident is underway and we will make its findings public soon.”
“Whatever facts come out, we will bring them forth before everyone,” he had said.
Law-enforcement agencies have so far not produced any of the “suspects” arrested in connection with the Pathankot attack before a court.
The government has not disclosed the number of suspects detained. However, reports said 31 JeM suspects have been taken into custody.
Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah had said last month that Azhar had been taken into “protective custody” along with some of his “accomplices”.
Meanwhile, an editorial in The News International today talked about the prospects for Indo-Pak peace talks in the aftermath of the Pathankot attack.
“The thing about talks between India and Pakistan is that once they are delayed, there is no telling when they will be restarted. This was seen last summer too after high-level talks between the national security advisers of both countries were called off at the last minute,” the editorial said.
“It took a rather unorthodox visit to Lahore by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to set a talks timeline once again. This was, as we know, disrupted by the Pathankot attack, which Indian officials blame on elements based in Pakistan,” it said.
The editorial said while talks are ongoing with India for convening a meeting of foreign secretaries to start the ‘Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue’, it seems “the tendency is to rather play to the gallery instead”.
“The possibility of talks being held in the first week of February now seems to be mostly unrealistic. One must hope that the delay is not going to be as long as we have seen in the past,” it said.

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