New Delhi: This is Kashif Jan, the main handler of the Pathankot air force base attackers and an aide of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar. The face of the deadly terror attack had remained obscure to agencies hunting for JeM handlers sheltered in Pakistan with the help of ISI and army. National Intelligence Agency (NIA) probing the attack wants to quiz Jan, but Pakistan’s recent charade is seen as an attempt to sabotage the agency’s impending visit.
According to sources, Jan, who provided logistics to Pathankot attackers and facilitated the meticulous infiltration plan, deleted his Facebook profile within hours of the terror strike. But the two grabs now accessed by intelligence agencies exposed Jan’s identity and his role in the Pathankot attack. Jan was actively involved in terror activities and had left his Karachi number on the Facebook profile, which connected the dots in linking him with four terrorists—Nasir Hussain, Hafiz Abu Bakar, Abdul Qayum and Umar Farooq. Sources said one of the terrorists used the mobile phone of Punjab Superintendent of Police Salwinder Singh’s friend Rajesh Verma and called +923453030***. This number was traced to Jan. Singh, Verma and cook Madan Gopal were kidnapped by the terrorists on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1 before they snaked into Pathankot air base and unleashed terror. It is learnt that four-five calls were made to Jan from Verma’s phone. A week later, Pakistan claimed that Jan and another handler, Saad Mughal, had been arrested.
A senior intelligence officer doubts Jan’s arrest and Masood Azhar’s detention, saying that it might be a diversionary tactic to keep the Indian agencies in the dark. He said most of the wanted JeM terrorists—Shafiq, Talha, Awais, Ilyas Qasmi and Rasheed—are still at large and no operation was launched against its terror training centre at Madrassah Usman-o-Ali, Bahawalpur.
“Pak agencies have failed to get to the bottom of the conspiracy. Earlier, they said that no such mobile number exists. Now we have given them more proof establishing the handler’s identity and location. The recent comment made by Pak envoy Abdul Basit that NIA may not be allowed to go to Pakistan is another attempt to shield the terrorists,” the officer said.
Delhi is also disappointed that China, in connivance with Pakistan, blocked India’s move to designate Azhar as a ‘terrorist leader’ in the UN Security Council Committee. Indian officials said that JeM was listed as a terrorist outfit in 2001, but its chief, who is executing terror attacks against India, has not been designated as terrorist.
Jan, who provided logistics to the Pathankot attackers and facilitated their meticulous infiltration, deleted his Facebook profile within hours of the terror strike. He was actively involved in other JeM terror activities.