Khandahar, Parliament and Pathankot attack: Can Pakistan act against Abdul Rauf?
New Delhi, March 30: Pakistan's Joint Investigation Team has heard everything that India had to tell them about the Pathankot attack. They took the evidence, listened in to the audio clips, but the big question is what is next?
In this context it would be particularly necessary to draw your attention to the case relating to Abdul Rauf Asghar, who is the brother of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief, Maulana Masood Azhar. There is an audio clipping that the NIA had sourced in which he is heard saying that Mujahideens must be sent to Pathankot.
Now what is ironic is that proof had been handed over to Pakistan way back in 2002 as well regarding Rauf after his un-deniable hand had been found in the blatant Khandahar Hijack and Parliament attack.
Pakistan sat over it and 14 years later he returned to mastermind and carry out the Pathankot attack.
Rauf on the loose is trouble for India
While Azhar is the ideological head of the Jaish-e-Mohammad, it is his brother Rauf who runs the command of the outfit. When Azhar was arrested in India, it was Rauf who was adamant to have him released.
This led to him masterminding the Khandahar hijack. Following this incident, he sought the release of Azhar and India gave in.
Following this he plotted the audacious attack on the Indian Parliament. There was enough and more evidence against Rauf and the same had been shared with Pakistan. However they sat over it and he continued to operate freely. Now his name has cropped up in the Pathankot attack as well.
Looking at the manner in which Rauf operates, it becomes clear that he stages attacks that challenges the Indian establishment. He does not plot small attacks. Khandahar, Parliament and Pathankot are examples of this.
Moreover one must also bear in mind such audacious attacks cannot be planned by one terrorist organisation unless it has the backing of the establishment (read ISI).
In the tapes that the NIA played out to the JIT, he is heard saying that Mujahideens need to be sent to Pathankot.
There is also a portion of the tape in which he is heard mocking the response by India. One of the operatives even says, " unko patha nahin kitne log hai (they don't even know how many people are there).
While the JIT listened in carefully and did not question the evidence, their next move would be interesting. The NIA has decided to seek access to Azhar and Rauf when the team visits Pakistan. Will Pakistan grant access? This would determine how serious they are about the probe.