New Delhi: The NIA has agreed to a request by the visiting Pakistan JIT regarding access to Indo-Pak border outpost in Bamiyal, the first point of breach in the Jan 2 Pathankot air base terror attack. This came after the 5-member Pakistani team was escorted by Punjab Police to the IAF base.
On the other hand, the NIA has asked the Pakistan to provide the voice sample of Maulana Masood Azahar and DNA of a woman to take forward the probe. If Pakistan accepts the NIA’s demand, the Indian security official team could soon visit Islamabad to collect the samples.
India has been demanding the voice sample of Azhar ever since it was confirmed that he had masterminded the January 2 attack.
Earlier in the day, the Pakistani team arrived at the frontier air force base campus in a mini-bus accompanied by NIA officials and surrounded by Punjab's Police's elite SWAT commandos.
Also protests by Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) activists erupted near the front gate of the Pathankot airbase this morning as the Pakistan team headed towards it in north Punjab.
The protestors carried black flags and banners. The banners named officials of the Pakistani team, especially those from Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence. Security agencies deputed additional personnel to strengthen security outside the rear part of the air base following the protests.
Authorities at Pathankot airbase said that the visiting Pakistan probe team will be taken only to specific and limited areas within the sprawling Air Force Station (AFS) complex.
The JIT members will be kept away from the AFS' technical area and shown only those areas where security forces engaged the Pakistani terrorists in the first week of January.
The 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.
There are reports that, according to Home Ministry, Islamic fundamentalist organizations based in Pakistan and their proxies in India may target Pakistan’s JIT. The MHA has stated the threat in a note to Punjab Police and told them to arrange extra security for the members of JIT.
"The delegation would be vulnerable to threat from Islamist fundamentalist and militant outfits based in Pakistan and their proxies in India as the present political dispensation in Pakistan is perceived as closer to the United States of America by these groups. Significantly, these groups and their collaborators have significant infrastructure and logistics to strike within India," the note said.
Congress, AAP protest outside Pathankot IAF base
Angry Congress workers took to the streets outside the Pathankot IAF base to protest against the Pakistan’s JIT that arrived here to begin the probe into the deadly attack. Chanting slogans against the Centre and holding placards saying "Pak JIT go back" the protestors also waved black flags and reached the gates of the Air Base, where defence personnel were seen trying to restrain them and stop them from entering the restricted area.
Also the Aam Admi Party (AAP) workers protested outside the IAF base demanding repatriation of Pak’s team.
The NIA yesterday gave a detailed presentation to the visiting Pakistani probe team on the evidence collected with regard to Pathankot airbase terror attack case. As far as Jaish-e-Mohammed's (JeM) involvement in Pathankot attack was concerned, the Pakistani JIT did not deny the evidence furnished by the NIA.
This is the first time that Pakistani intelligence and police officials are traveling to India to investigate a terror attack case.
New Delhi has been pressing Islamabad for action on the attack by terrorists on the key Indian Air Force base in Pathankot, in January this year.
Seven security personnel were martyred in the attack. All terrorists involved in the attack were also killed in the gun-battle.