India-Pakistan Relations: Post Pathankot

The history of India-Pakistan relations has always been marred by ill-fated incidents. Jammu and Kashmir and terrorism are two major issues that have always impacted relations between the two countries. The year 2015 was also characterised by another wave of tensions between India and Pakistan. However, towards the end of the year, a series of high-level meetings between the Prime Ministers of the two countries, the national security advisers, the visit of the Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and the informal visit by Prime Minister Modi to Pakistan, raised the hopes for some improvement. Nevertheless, whenever it comes to India-Pakistan relations, such diplomatic breakthroughs are often sabotaged by terrorist incidents or by other provocations. In this case, the terrorist attacks at the Indian air base in Pathankot and the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, Peshawar, in January 2016 were no exception.

Indian intelligence agencies accused Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar as the mastermind of the Pathankot attack, and shared the identity of four suspected attackers with Pakistan. The Indian media also campaigned actively against Pakistani state institutions. Strongly condemning the terror assault, Pakistan formed an investigation committee, took Maulana Masood Azhar into custody and sealed the offices of his organisation in Pakistan. Further, to probe the Pathankot incident, Pakistan also offered to send a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to India. However, so far, investigations by SIT have revealed no evidence against Maulana Masood Azhar.

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