India on Thursday said it has ‘carefully noted’ Pakistan Foreign Minister Sartaz Aziz’s remarks on detention of JeM chief Masood Azhar and the issue will be discussed when the Pakistani SIT will visit the country in connection with the Pathankot terror attack.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said India was awaiting a firm proposal from Pakistan on “dates and composition” of the SIT and only after that security agencies will decided what all places will be visited by the team when asked about Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s comments that the SIT will not be allowed to visit Pathankot air base, the site of the attack.
“We have carefully noted the comments made (by Aziz) on Maulana Masood Azhar. I think it will be a subject of discussion once the SIT visits India,” Swarup said but did not give a direct reply on whether Pakistan has officially informed India about the JeM chief.
During a TV interview recently, Aziz had said Azhar, along with a few other operatives of the JeM, has been kept under protective custody and that some of the terror outfit’s premises have also been sealed.
On the status of Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary-level talks, the Spokesperson merely repeated, “Foreign Secretaries are in touch and there are no further developments.”
Asked about continued cross-border terrorism from Pakistan and arrest of six JeM militants, including a Pakistani in Jammu and Kashmir, Swarup said India has been repeatedly raising the issue with Pakistan and was a matter of discussion between the two National Security Advisors.
“And as far as latest terror strike is concerned, it is still being investigated,” he added.
The Spokesperson also rejected the allegation that Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit was not given permission to visit Chennai to attend a function, saying on February 12 itself the permission was given to the High Commissioner, his wife and an official of the Pakistan High Commission to visit Chennai on February 22.