New Delhi: A five-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) from Pakistan will reach New Delhi Airport in a special flight tomorrow morning to probe the terror attack at the Pathankot airbase that took place on January 2 this year.
Pakistan High Commission has made all the arrangements for the JIT’s stay in a hotel in New Delhi.
Upon reaching the National Investigation Agency (NIA) headquarters on Monday, the NIA will give a presentation to the JIT that will contain relevant details and proofs related to the Pathankot terror attack.
The Pakistani JIT is also said to be carrying a 50-point questionnaire related to the Pathankot incident and they are likely to be addressed post lunch.
NIA, along with Pakistan’s JIT, will reach Pathankot in a BSF aircraft or a flight which will land just outside the Pathankot airbase where the incident took place earlier this year.
Once inside the air base, access to the JIT will be restricted to areas where the operation took place. The areas where the JIT have been granted access have been barricaded.
Pakistan’s JIT, in the presence of NIA, will also be allowed to cross-question SP Gurdaspur Salwindar Singh along with the three eye-witnesses and 17 victims of the Panthankot terror attack.
The joint investigation team will also be taken to probe details of the dead bodies of the four terrorists who were neutralised by Indian security forces at the Pathankot air base on after the terror attack.
After the day’s investigation at Pathankot, the two teams will again meet at the NIA Headquarters in New Delhi for a detailed discussion on the investigation carried out in Pakistan on Pathankot incident and Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar.
Pakistan’s five-member JIT includes Additional IG Mohammad Tahir Rai, Gujjaranwala Counter Terrorism Department chief Shahid Tanveer, Lt Col Tanveer Ahmed , Military Intelligence Lt Col Irfan Mirza and DIG Mohammad Azim Arshad.
The JIT is expected to return Pakistan on March 31 after investigating the Pathankot terror attack.
The NIA is also likely to apprise JIT with the fact that the terror attacks that took place in Kathua district and Samba army camp last year had a similar pattern as the Pathankot air base attack.
This indicates that the terrorists plan such attacks in pairs of two, four or six and hijack a car. Most of the times, they target the Indian security forces and avoid harming children and females.
Moreover, they carry similar weapons that are manufactured in Russia, eastern Asia or China and use GPS so that they are not tracked by the security agencies.
The recent investigations have shown that the militants used Red Bull energy drink. The DNA samples of the terrorists involved in Pathankot attacks were taken from the Red Bull cans found with them. Even the wireless sets and wire cutters used by them were exactly the same.
The purpose behind India welcoming Pakistan’s Joint Investigation Team to probe into Pathankot terror attack is for Pakistan to be made aware of all facets related to the attack and be taken along on the same page in the investigation going forward.
However, the exercise may see some hurdles as Pakistan is yet to fully comply with the official procedures. Pakistan has still not sent a Letter Rogatory (LR) to India, which is a standard process in such investigations.
On the contrary, India had earlier sought some information through LR from Pakistan related to the Pathankot attack, a request which is yet to be responded to. How fruitful this visit of the JIT, without following the due procedure and completing formalities, remains to be seen.