On Pathankot India must focus on the Jaish link for now- Interview

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New Delhi, June 3: India continues to be confident that Pakistan would soon act on the evidence given to them on the Pathankot terrorist attack.

Yesterday there was a statement by the NIA chief stating that there was no evidence as yet to suggest that the Pakistan government or establishment was involved.

'India to focus on the Jaish link'

The statement did evoke some reactions with many expressing surprise. Some would say that if a Lashkar-e-Tayiba or Jaish-e-Mohammad stages an attack in India it is a given that they have the backing of the ISI.

I do not think much should be made about the statement says former chief of the Research and Analysis Wing, C D Sahay. In this interview with OneIndia, Sahay says the case of the NIA is against the Jaish-e-Mohammad and not the ISI or others in the establishment.

Is it too early to say that there is no involvement of the Pakistan establishment in the Pathankot attack?
Let us get the perspective right first. Is the investigation into the Pathankot attack about the Jaish-e-Mohammad or the ISI? From day one we have maintained that it was the Jaish-e-Mohammad which carried out the attack.

Can the Jaish-e-Mohammad carry out an attack without the ISI's blessings?
Once again that is not the point here. Our demand to the Pakistanis has been to act against the Jaish-e-Mohammad. We have never said that ISI carried out this attack. Even during the course of the probe, we never said that ISI staged this attack.

Do you think the NIA chief ought to have issued such a statement?
I actually do not see much of a problem in what he has said. He has just stuck to the investigation and as I pointed out earlier, India's case is that the Jaish-e-Mohammad carried out the attack.

What should Pakistan do now?

We are asking Pakistan who carried out the attack. They need to give us more information about it considering the terrorists came from their soil. We have told them that the terrorists were in contact with senior leaders of the Jaish. We have been asking them to take action and they must do that.

You know how exactly the Jaish-e-Mohammad came into existence. Musharaff had promised to arrest the Jaish chief Maulana Masood Azhar. Instead he allowed him to address a rally and form the Jaish-e-Mohammad.

You are now getting into the background. All those are well known facts. Our priority should be to crack the Pathankot case and hence we need to stay focused on that now.

You must be aware that in the 26/11 case, the ISI angle did crop up.
Yes I am aware of that. But then at time we had not said the ISI carried out the attack. We were telling them it was the Lashkar-e-Tayiba. Only during the course of the probe and based on Headley's deposition did we realise there were individuals in the ISI who were part of it.

Now despite all that, they have still not acted. Does that not say something?
It does. But as I said we need to stay focused. What we need to ponder over is whether their Joint Investigating Team has done what they were expected to do? We have given them the evidence and have they appreciated it?

How much evidence can we really give?
Out here we have limited evidence considering the terrorists came from Pakistan. But whatever we have provided does make for a good lead. Out concern at the moment should focus on whether Pakistan will act on the evidence given by us and give us more information.

OneIndia News

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