Islamabad, Jan 20: India has said in the past couple of days that it proposes to seek the custody of Maulana Masood Azhar, chief of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and mastermind of the Pathankot attack.
While India does have a legitimate claim on Azhar, it still sounds a bit strange because he was handed over to Pakistan during the Khandahar hijack .
The question is -- will asking for Azhar change anything? It will not and the one must remember that Pakistan is not going to hand him over.
This would mean he will remain just a name in yet another dossier prepared by India. There will be red corner alerts and interpol notices against him, but that does not change anything as long as he is in Pakistan.
India will give another dossier:
Indian officials say that they are well aware of what the position in Pakistan is. Pakistan has its own constraints where the likes of Azhar are concerned. He is capable of dishing out sentiments and the ISI or the Pakistan army will tread cautiously while dealing with him.
India can do nothing much on this issue. The only thing that India can do it step up pressure on Pakistan to at least keep Azhar quiet, if they cannot act against him.
The talk of surgical strikes or covert operations are easier said than done. This would mean that a 2011 dossier that India had prepared will be upgraded following the Pathankot attack.
In 2011 there were 50 names in the dossier and now post Pathankot, it has gone up to 60. Whether these dossiers have any impact or not is another question all together.
The important aspect is that the matter needs to be debated and these dossiers will also help in stepping up pressure by the international community.
Post the Pathankot attack, when a Pakistan minister said that Azhar was in protective custody, it send out a clear picture.
India says that they highly doubt if Pakistan would act against Azhar. He is an ideological head of the Jaish-e-Mohammad and in such cases it is very difficult linking him directly to the attack.
Pakistan can however clip his wings and reduce his activities on the ground that it was his outfit that carried out the Pathankot strike, Indian officials say.