India Prepares To Ask Pak For Information On Seven Perpetrators Of Pulwama
India has decided to formally ask Pakistan to share details of the terrorists behind Pulwama’s attack last year on a convoy of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), people familiar with the development said. The suicide bomb attack killed 40 Indian soldiers and brought the two countries to the brink of war.
A formal judicial request or Letter Rogatory (LR), prepared by the National Investigative Agency (NIA) requesting information on seven perpetrators, four based in Pakistan: Maulana Masood Azhar, her brothers Abdul Rauf Asghar and Ibrahim Athar, and his cousin Ammar Alvi, and three Pakistanis who came to India to carry out the attack, Athar’s son Umar Farooq, Kamran (both killed in clashes with security forces after the Pulwama attack) and Ismail alias Saifullah, are currently in the refining phase at the Interior Ministry (MHA), the people added on condition of anonymity. Ismail is believed to be hiding in Kashmir.
Once the MHA finalizes the document, which people said will be ready by the end of the month, permission will be sought from the court to send the court application to Pakistan. “It is the first court request of its kind to be sent to Pakistan in the Pulwama attack seeking their cooperation,” said one of the people, a senior government official.
In addition to the whereabouts of Azhar, Asghar, Athar, and Alvi, India is seeking details of communications between them and each other, including WhatsApp chats, voice memos, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls made to and from towards Pakistan, and information on people seen. in photographs and videos recovered from Umar Farooq’s phone, showing different stages of preparation for the Pulwama attack, the official added.
Farooq was dispatched to India in April 2018 to monitor the Pulwama attack on February 14, 2019, which triggered the Indian Air Force (IAF) action against a Jaish terror camp deep in Pakistan 12 days later, and It resulted in a dogfight between the two nation’s fighter jets on February 27.
In its official request, the Indian government is also seeking information on the GPS locations extracted from Farooq’s phone, as well as details of payments worth 10 lakh rupees made to his accounts at Meezan Bank and Allied Bank in Pakistan, recovered by the NIA during the investigation, a second officer said.
The NIA released a detailed 13,500-page indictment sheet on Aug. 25 naming the seven Pakistanis, including JeM chief Masood Azhar, and 12 others for the Pulwama attack.
“A strong judicial request, equipped with irrefutable technical, material and circumstantial evidence, is being sent to Pakistan. We hope that instead of protecting them, Pakistan will provide evidence and take action against Jaish’s boss and his relatives, ”said a second person, an MHA official.
India has sent legal requests to Pakistan in the 2016 IAF base attack on Pathankot and the Mumbai attacks on 11/26, but to no avail.