Pakistan’s Joint Investigation Team to arrive in India today on Pathankot attack

NEW DELHI: A five-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) from Pakistan to probe the deadly terrorist attack on the Pathankot Air Force Base will arrive in the national capital on Sunday.

The team comprises of officials from both the military intelligence as well as civil administration. The team, which was granted visas on Friday, would visit the NIA headquarters on March 28 and Pathankot on March 29.
According to sources, the JIT comprises of Punjab Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) AIG Rai Tahir as convener, Intelligence Bureau Lahore Deputy Director General Azim Arshad, Lt. Col Tanvir Ahmed of the ISI, Lt, Col Irfan Mirza of MI and Gujranwala CTD Investigating Officer Shahid Tanveer.

However, reports state that the team’s movement would be restricted only to the area of the engagement between security forces and the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj earlier said that Pakistan’s joint investigation team would arrive in India on March 27 and start functioning from the very next day.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh earlier said that the modalities for conducting the Pathankot attack probe would be worked out once Pakistan’s joint investigation team arrives in the country.
On January 2, terrorists attacked the Pathankot Air Force Station, part of the Western Air Command of the Indian Air Force. Four terrorists were killed and two security personnel were martyred in the gun battle.

This will be the first time that Pakistani intelligence and police officials are travelling to India to investigate a terror attack.
If all goes well, the move may pave the way for furthering of the dialogue between India and Pakistan that got stalled after Pathankot attack.

The five-member JIT is expected to leave for India on Sunday. The team, according to reports, is coming fully prepared with 50-point questionnaire in hand to investigate the Pathankot attack.
Sources in the government said visas were cleared after the modalities under which the JIT will work were cleared together by the Indian and Pakistan governments.
The Pakistani probe team is led by Punjab counter-terrorism department IG Muhammad Tahir Rai and includes Lahore deputy director general of intelligence Mohammad Azim Arshad, ISI’s Lt Col Tanvir Ahmed, Pakistan army intelligence’s Lt Col Irfan Mirza and Gujaranwala investigating officer Shahid Tanveer.
The JIT will begin its work from Monday, which will also include deliberations with India’s National Investigation Agency and other officials concerned. The government has allowed restricted access to the Pakistani team at the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot.
Though initially JIT’s duration of stay in India was given to be around three days, it may be extended close to a week after Pakistan conveyed that minimum 7 days would be needed for a thorough probe.
“The JIT’s modus operandi and modalities have been agreed between the Pakistani and Indian authorities,” said a senior member of the JIT adding the body wants to stay there for a week to complete the probe and it has been conveyed to the Indian government.
The JIT member reportedly also claimed that it would work under its own Cr PC in India and would visit the crime scene and collect evidences.
It is still not clear if the JIT will be allowed to meet and take records of witnesses or will be just given their statements recorded by the NIA and Punjab Police.

with PTI