Pak JIT’s visit a ‘step in right direction’: Lisa Curtis

Washington: Describing Islamabad’s recent response following the Pathankot terror attack and their decision to send a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to India as ‘positive steps in the right direction’, Lisa Curtis, a senior research fellow at a top American think-tank Heritage Foundation, said that Pakistan needs to do more to track down and curb terrorism emanating from its soil.

Curtis hailed Pakistan’s actions against the banned terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed ( JeM) and its chief Maulana Masood Azhar, and praised India for exercising a ‘great deal of restraint.’

“Both India and Pakistan have controlled the rhetoric following the Pathankot attack. India in particular has acted with great deal of restraint, it’s clear that India expects Pakistan to take action against the Jaish-e-Mohammed attackers before India agrees to come back to talks. We have seen Pakistan take some steps, they have arrested some Jaish-e-Mohammed leaders, including Masood Azhar,” she told ANI.

“They have initiated some investigations and now we have a team over in India. These are positive steps in the right direction. But still we need to see more from Pakistan, in terms of its commitment to track down Jaish-e-Mohammed,” she added.

Curtis said that the action against Masood Azhar by Pkaistan is a just a start.

She also acknowledged that Pakistan did not go into denial mode straightaway after the Pathankot attack as it did during the 26/11 Mumbai attack.

“Pakistan has acted more quickly than it did following the Mumbai attacks. Pakistan did not immediately go into denial mode. It has acknowledged that Jaish-e-Mohammed was likely to be involved…. But there are reasons to be sceptical,” she added.

The Pakistan JIT, which arrived at the Pathankot Air Base today, began the probe into the deadly terror attack by visiting the site of the incident, accompanied by Indian officials and security personnel.

The team is visiting the areas that have been sanitised by the Indian Air Force post the attack on the Base.

The five-member Pakistani JIT is headed by Chief of Punjab’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Muhammad Tahir Rai and comprises Lahore’s Deputy Director General, Intelligence Bureau, Mohammad Azim Arshad, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) official Lieutenant-Colonel Tanvir Ahmed, Military Intelligence official Lieutenant-Colonel Irfan Mirza and Gujaranwala CTD Investigating Officer, Shahid Tanveer. (ANI)