Has Maulana Masood been detained? PM leaves it to NSA to ascertain facts

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New Delhi, Jan 14: India will read carefully this time around before it accepts a Pakistan version which suggests that Jaish-e-Mohammad chief, Maulana Masood Azhar has been detained in connection with the Pathankot attack.

The foreign secretary level talks between India and Pakistan which was scheduled to be held on January 15th hangs in the balance and a final call would be taken following the return of National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval from Paris today.

Maulana Masood Azhar

Pakistan has suggested that it has detained Azhar and is questioning him at an undisclosed location. India would want to verify that information first, before it decides on the talks. India said yesterday that it has no confirmation regarding the arrest.

PM wants NSA talks first:

During a meeting between the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, it was decided that they would await the return of Doval before taking a final call. Doval is currently away at Paris and is expected to return today.

The PM during the meeting indicated that the NSA should speak to his counterpart in Pakistan and seek more details relating to the detention of Azhar. India wants to be sure about this development.

It may be recalled that after the 26/11 attack, Pakistan had detained Lashkar-e-Tayiba chief, Hafiz Saeed but had released him citing lack of evidence.

India does not want to rush into anything as of now. According to reports in Pakistan, Azhar has been taken into preventive custody. There are no charges against him as yet, the Pakistan media also reported.

India will make it clear yet again to Pakistan that it wants proof of Azhar's detention and this is likely to be raised when Doval speaks with the Pakistan's NSA upon his return.

India has also made it clear that it would defer the foreign secretary level talks if action against those who masterminded the Pathankot attack is not satisfactory.

Further India has also made it clear that it would only defer the talks and not cancel it. However this would depend on the action that Pakistan takes against those behind the Pathankot attack.

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