Three students were on Wednesday taken into custody in Pakistan in connection with the Pathankot attack after India provided cell phone numbers of the suspects, bringing the total number of the arrests in the case to 31.
“The agencies have picked up Usman Sarwar, a Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) student, a Sahiwal district institution student Saad Mughal and Kashif Jan of Karachi University,” Pakistani media reported on Wednesday.
The intelligence agencies reportedly picked up the three students on the cell phone numbers provided by the Indian authorities.
Earlier, the Pakistani authorities had dismissed that the cell phone numbers from whom the calls were allegedly made from Pakistan were “unregistered”.
“The agencies are investigating the alleged links of the three students with Jaish-e-Muhammad,” an official said.
Dr Yasir Hashmi, a LUMS official, denied Usman Sarwar’s arrest. “Sarwar is present in the varsity,” he said.
The cell phone numbers were linked to the Facebook accounts of Sarwar, Mughal and Kashif.
Mughal’s Facebook page contains several photographs of armed individuals who appear to be jihadists operating in Kashmir and ropaganda posters vowing war on India. Kashif lists Mughal as one of his contacts and also contains propaganda material.
A total of 31 people have been arrested in the case in the country.
“The arrests have been made from different parts of the province, including Bahwalpur (hometown of Maulan Masood Azhar), Rahim Yar Khan, Gujranwala, Sialkot and Lahore,” a source in an intelligence agency said.
Masood Azhar and his brother Abdul Rehman Rauf have also reportedly been taken into protective custody for interrogation but the Pakistani government has not yet confirmed his arrest.
In the terror attack on Pathankot Air Force base that began on January 2, six militants were also eliminated in an operation that lasted four days.