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Pathankot probe: NIA all set for Pak visit, awaits written clearance from Islamabad

Shamsher Singh 19 Apr 2016, 17:15:43 IST
Shamsher Singh

New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is ready to visit Pakistan to take forward its probe into the deadly terror attack at the Pathankot IAF base earlier this year. According to NIA sources, the agency is now waiting for a written clearance order from Pakistani authorities regarding their visit. 

Sources also termed Pakistani Premier’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz indication that his country may consider a request by India for a visit by its NIA team, a positive step. However, it was tough to “trust” Pakistan until a written clearance is provided, they said. 

Aziz’s remark holds significance as it came in the backdrop of Pakistan’s envoy to India, Abdul Basit, ruling out a visit by NIA to Pakistan to probe the January 2 attack that claimed lives of 7 Indian jawans. 

The NIA has approached the Ministry of External Affairs requesting it to seek an assurance in written from Pakistani side regarding cooperation in investigation during their visit.

The agency will send Letters Rogatory (LR) to Pakistan regarding the Pathankot terror case. Also, it will hand over addresses of four JeM terrorists.

In the LR, NIA will demand access to the JeM Chief Masood Azhar and others who planned the brutal incident.

Earlier, the Pakistan team visited India that included an officer from its premier intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

Pakistani media reports said the Pakistani JIT had concluded that the January 2 terror attack that left seven Indian security personnel dead was staged by New Delhi to spread "vicious propaganda" against Islamabad.

The terrorists entered the air base and mounted the brazen assault on the intervening night of January 1 and 2. In the fierce encounter that ensued, seven security personnel besides four terrorists were killed.