Pathankot attack: NIA visit to Pakistan still in limbo
New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA)’s visit to Pakistan for investigating the deadly Pathankot IAF base terror attack is still to be finalised despite the terms of reference mutually agreed on the basis of reciprocity with the Pakistan JIT team that visited India last month.
MoS Home Affairs Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary on Wednesday told the Rajya Sabha that the Pakistan JIT was informed about a team of NIA officials who would like to visit Pakistan to carry forward the investigation into the January 2 Pathankot attack in which seven Indian security men were killed by suspected JeM terrorists.
"The details of the visit are yet to be finalised," Chaudhary said, adding that the NIA briefed the Pakistani JIT over investigations carried out into the attack, while the Pakistan JIT, in turn, shared with the NIA the results of investigations carried out by them in Pakistan so far.
"The interaction with the JIT was held in accordance with Terms of Reference mutually agreed on the basis of reciprocity. The Pakistan JIT assured of their full cooperation and promised to execute the LR (Letters Rogatory), which has been received by them," Chaudhary said.
He said the case was under investigation in both the countries. “The government is in touch with the relevant Pakistani authorities in the matter,” Chaudhary added.
However, Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit in his statement on April 7 had said the investigation (into the Pathankot attack) was not about reciprocity. Basit's remarks had negated the NIA's claims made on March 30 that Islamabad will reciprocate India's gesture of allowing Pakistani investigators, including an ISI official, to visit the IAF base in Pathankot to probe the terror attack by Pakistani terrorists.
Sources said NIA officials had names of the terrorists, evidence like transcript of telephonic conversations and other electronic and forensic proof including against JeM chief Masood Azhar's brother Abdul Rauf.
On March 30, NIA spokesman Sanjeev Kumar said both sides had agreed that the kind of cooperation India provided to the Pakistani JIT would be reciprocated. "This is the reciprocity agreed," Kumar had said.
The remarks indicated India's intention to get similar access in Pakistan to pursue the probe into the Pathankot attack.
The Pathankot IAF base terror was attacked by heavily armed Pakistani terrorists on January 2 left seven security personnel dead.
With Agency Inputs