Pakistani JIT team can’t enter IAF base, can only access attack sites: Parrikar

In a crucial development in Pathankot terror attack, India’s Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has categorically said that Pakistan’s Joint Investigation Team (JIT) will not get access to the entire Pathankot airbase. “They (JIT officials) are only allowed access to the place where crime took place; the area is cordoned off and NIA is investigating the case,” Mr Parrikar said. India and Pakistan have started formal discussions on investigations into the terror attack at the Pathankot IAF base. This is the first-ever visit of a JIT from Pakistan that included an ISI official. According to reports, the Pakistan probe team has asked for all call details of Punjab police officer Salwinder Singh, who was interrogated by the NIA over the attack. They also demanded the call details of Mr Singh’s family members. Interestingly, the Pakistan JIT has reportedly asked for permission to interrogate the commander of Pathankot airbase. Apart from postmortem reports and DNA of attackers, the team has also sought access to mobile phones used by them.

In addition to these demands, the JIT has also asked for the copies of all FIRs registered in connection with the Pathankot terror attacks and car snatching, and CCTV footage available from border to airbase. The Pakistani probe team also wants to record statements of BSF at Pathankot border. The JIT was received at the National Investigation Agency (NIA) headquarters by Inspector General Sanjiv Kumar Singh. They are being given a detailed presentation on the probe done by Indian agencies so far and evidences that show that the attack was planned in Pakistan, according to the reports.

The probe team is expected to fly to Pathankot in a special plane on March 29. The IAF base will be visually barricaded by NIA to prevent any view of critical areas. However, the NIA team will show them some of the areas where the Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists were engaged in a gun battle with security forces. India is expected to provide the Pakistani team access to all witnesses in the case, but not to the personnel from National Security Guard or BSF.

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