NIA seeks permission to visit Pakistan to probe Pathankot attacks

NIA formal request

For the first time, India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) has sent a ‘formal request’ to Pakistan, seeking permission to visit the country to probe January’s Pathankot terror attack.

According to unnamed officials, the NIA has sent a letter to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), who will forward it to the authorities in Islamabad.

India, who has alleged that the Pathankot attacks were carried out by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), wants to probe and record the statements of the chief accused JeM Chief Masood Azhar as well as other alleged handlers of the attacks.

The MEA had said in April that an Indian team would be sent to Pakistan at an appropriate time to probe the attacks. However, the ministry did not give any timeline for such a visit. India said that the visit of Pakistan’s Joint Investigation Team (JIT) in the Pathankot terror attack probe case was on the basis of reciprocity. The government claims that it is in touch with the authorities in Pakistan.

The Pakistani team, which was headed by Additional Inspector General of Police, Counter Terrorism Department, Muhammad Tahir Rai and  Inter-Services Intelligence’s (ISI)   Lt Col Tanvir Ahmed had visited India on March 27 to investigate the attack. During the visit, the JIT recorded statements of 16 witnesses, including the Superintendent of Police Salwinder Singh, his jeweler friend Rajesh Verma and cook Madan Gopal.

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