One of the most wanted terrorists and Pathankot attack mastermind Shahid Latif on Wednesday was shot dead by unknown gunmen in Pakistan’s Sialkot.
But who was Shahid Latif?
- Latif was wanted by the NIA in an Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) case.
- He was a senior leader of the terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), which was behind the 2016 attack on the air force base in Pathankot.
a) In January 2016, a heavily armed group attacked the Pathankot Air Force Station. b) The gun battle between the security forces and attackers ensued for around 17 hours on January 2, 2016, killing five attackers and six security personnel. Three more soldiers died after they were hospitalized due to their injuries, raising the death toll to 9 security forces personnel. c) A day later, another security forces officer was killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion. The operation in Pathankot continued on January 4, killing a fifth attacker. The Pathankot attack perpetrated by JeM led to a breakdown of India-Pakistan relations, which is largely unresolved till this date.
- In 1994, Latif was arrested from Jammu in a case related to narcotics and terrorism. He was deported back to Pakistan via the Wagah border in 2010 after serving a 16-year-long jail term.
- Shahid Latif was listed as a terrorist by the Indian government after the NIA said in its probe that Latif went back to the Jihadi factory in Pakistan after he was released in 2010.
- When Indian Airlines plane IC814 was hijacked by five armed men to Kandhar in Afghanistan in 1999, Shahid Latif was one of those whose release was demanded by the terrorists. Masood Azhar, however, was one of the prisoners freed along with two others in lieu of 189 passengers and crew members caught in a hostage situation on the plane.