As India and Pakistan seek to restore bilateral dialogue, Pakistan has said that it will complete the investigations on Pathankot attacks by the end of this week. This is seen as a significant development by Pakistan, which has expressed its commitment to resume bilateral dialogue with India. “The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) will complete probe into Pathankot incident this week,” Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s special assistant on Foreign affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi said.
After several high level visits to Pakistan from the Indian side, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj in December 2015, the two countries had agreed to take the bilateral dialogue to the next level. However, Pathankot terror attack stonewalled the dialogue process and the foreign secretaries of both sides are yet to decide on a possible date to meet and carry the dialogue forward.
Pakistan disbanded the Special Investigation Team (SIT), which it had initially proposed to send to India to investigate the matter. However, it later constituted a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to look into the investigations based on evidences provided by India.
The JIT was formed to probe the terror attack on the Pathankot airbase, a week after Pakistan had lodged an FIR in the terror case, without naming Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar. India has accused Azhar of being the masterminded and perpetrator behind the attacks.
An FIR lodged by the counter-terrorism department of Punjab police in Pakistan on the basis of information provided by India, which gave Pakistan “actionable evidence” to look into the matter. Mr Fatemi had also said that the dates for the upcoming SAARC Summit in Islamabad were being worked out after consultation with all the member states of the regional bloc.
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