South Asia
Pak JIT leaves Pathankot air base ; Serious efforts by Pakistan : Amit Shah

29 Mar 2016


Pathankot, Mar 29: A five-member Pakistani team investigating the Pathankot attack inspected select parts of the air base on Tuesday amid violent protests by Congress and Aam Aadmi Party workers in the north Punjab town, reports said.

The  joint investigation team (JIT) entered the air base from a specially made gate at the rear end of the compound and left after a few hours.

“I think for the first time Pakistan has made a serious effort towards investigation,” BJP chiefAmit Shah told reporters.

Outside the base, protesters raised slogans and waved black flags against the Centre and held placards saying “Pak JIT go back”.  They also burnt an effigy.

Six Pak  terrorists had attacked the air base  engaging security forces in a gun-battle  onJanuary 2 for almost 80 hours.

India has blamed Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed for the attack.

India has allowed the Pak team access to key witnesses - including a Punjab police officer who says he was kidnapped by the terrorists and his car was hijacked by them - but it has made it clear that the Pakistanis will not be allowed to question security personnel.

The JIT from Pakistan, consisting of two intelligence officers, including one from ISI, and three investigators, will conduct their inquiries in Delhi and Punjab. They have been given a seven-day visa.

The team met officials from India’s National Investigative Agency (NIA) in New Delhi on Monday as part of their own investigation into the attack.

According to reports, they were shown only the areas where the encounter between the security forces and the militants took place.

Sensitive areas of the base were barricaded to block the team from even a basic view of those facilities, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar asserted on Monday.  

The Congress party and the Aam Aadmi Party have raised questions regarding the inclusion of an Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) official in the JIT.

 Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday attacked the Centre and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over allowing the Pakistan probe team to visit India and investigate thePathankot attack.

He accused that the PM has surrendered to Pakistan by allowing investigators from the neighbouring nation to visit India and investigate the Pathankot attack.

"Why has the PM surrendered before Pakistan? India will not tolerate it," Kejriwal said.

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