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Pathankot terror attack: Not allowing NIA to visit Pak would be ‘betrayal’, says Rajnath Singh

Issuing a stern warning, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said if Pakistan doesn’t allow the National investigation Agency (NIA) to visit the neighbouring nation to probe the Pathankot air base attack then it would be a ?betrayal? to India. “When the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) of Pakistan proposed to visit India for investigating the Pathankot attack, it was mutually agreed that after their visit, a team of the NIA would also visit the neighbouring country for the probe and interrogate some people,” Singh said while addressing a rally in Amroha. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”But so far Pakistan has not given permission to the NIA to visit there. If the NIA team is not allowed to visit Pakistan, it will be a betrayal to India,” he added. The Union Home Minister yesterday visited the Pathankot airbase, which was attacked by the terrorists on January 2. Speaking about security concerns in the state, Singh said that the safety of citizens was the foremost priority of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) govt. “We know that the first step to development is security; every citizen needs to feel secure and borders too need to be secure”, said the Home Minister while addressing a rally in Pathankot. He also touched upon the sensitive Kashmir issue and said that Kashmir as a whole has never been an issue; it is always the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and this issue needs to be addressed with priority. Four terrorists were killed when they carried out a suicide attack on the strategic Indian Air Force base in Pathankot during the intervening night of January 1-2. Seven security personnel were also killed during the 80-hour-long gun battle. The Pathankot air base was attacked by heavily armed terrorists during the intervening night of January 1-2reportedly having allegiance to the Jaish-e-Mohammed, a terrorist organisation based in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, in which four terrorists and three security forces personnel were killed. A five-member Pakistani Joint Investigation Team (JIT), comprising Additional Inspector General of Police (IGP), a Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), two Lt. Colonels and one inspector, from Pakistan had visited India between March 27-31 to collect, review and document physical evidences and to interview key witnesses and victims through the NIA in connection with the Pathankot attack. Just a few days after the Pakistani JIT probing the Pathankot attack admitted that the four terrorists who attacked the Pathankot Indian Air Force base were from Pakistan, the JIT had said that the attack had been staged by India, according to a Pakistani media report. The JIT “says the attack was a drama staged to malign Pakistan,” according to a report in Pakistan Today. It further said that the JIT report, which was submitted to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the next few days, had even concluded that Indian authorities had prior information about the terrorists.Meanwhile, on April 28, the Centre had told the Rajya Sabha that Pakistan had been clearly told that it should allow an Indian probe team to visit that country in connection with Pathankot terror attack as reciprocity was the principle on which Pakistan’s JIT was allowed to visit here.

Modi government weakened fight against terrorism: Congress

New Delhi: Notwithstanding the denial by the NIA chief that he made any statement giving a clean chit to Pakistan on the Pathankot airbase attack, the Congress on Friday accused the government of deliberating weakening the war against terrorism by such remarks.

The opposition party also accused National Investigating Agency (NIA) chief Sharad Kumar of making a “preposterous statement” vis-a-vis Pakistan.

“The latest government statement giving a clean chit to Pakistan establishment, its Inter-Services Intelligence and military for the Pathankot terror attack has deliberately weakened the fight against terror that India has waged both nationally and internationally for many decades now,” said Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.

NIA investigators. AFPNIA investigators. AFP

NIA investigators. AFP

According to a TV channel, Sharad Kumar gave a clean chit to the Pakistan government but later denied making any such statement.

The Ministry of External Affairs on Friday asserted that the “involvement of Pakistan’s nationals in the Pathankot air base attack is an accepted fact”.

The government said “enough information” on the involvement of Pakistanis has been provided to Islamabad.

“Pakistan has sponsored terrorism and terror activities against India for decades now. This is a fact that is well known in the international community and various governments, including the previous one led by the Congress, have placed plausible evidence on record, shared with Pakistan and at various international fora multiple times,” said Surjewala.

The Congress leader said: “Post 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, the international pressure put (on Pakistan) at India’s instance now stands weakened by the successive statements made by the Modi Government and BJP – first Modi ji went on an impromptu visit to Pakistan to attend the birthday and marriage celebrations (in Nawaz Sharif’s family) — and the net consequence was the loss of seven lives of our army jawans and attack on the Pathankot airbase.”

“Modi ji then committed a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) of Pakistanis led by the infamous ISI to visit India, including the airbase. Despite caution from the Congress and other opposition parties as also security experts from time to time, the same JIT went back to Pakistan and instead of punishing the JeM accused India and the Indian government,” Surjewala said.

“Having not learnt its lessons, now NIA chief Sharad Kumar has made a preposterous statement and claim that the Pakistan government or military establishment or ISI was not responsible in any way or involved with Jaish-e-Mohammad or Maulana Masood Azhar in the Pathankot terror attack,” he added.

No evidence to suggest Pakistan helped JEM in Pathankot attack: NIA Director General

Director General of NIA Sharad Kumar has claimed that there is no evidence so far to indicate that the Pakistan government or other Pakistani agencies were directly complicit in the Pathankot attack.In an interview to News 18, Kumar said: “No evidence to show that Pakistan government or Pakistani government agency was helping Jaish–e–Mohammed or Masood Azhar or his aides carry out Pathankot attack.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He also added that so far the investigation hadn’t suggested that the terrorists had any inside help. Kumar added that a chargesheet would be filed in the terror attack even if Pak didn’t give the NIA access and at the same time maintained: “We have sufficient and stringent evidence against Masood Azhar and his brother Rauf Azhar and we will include those in our chargesheet.”A Pakistan JIT had visited India in March in connection with the probe. Seven security personnel and four terrorists were killed in what has been termed the Pathankot encounter.

Pakistan lips zipped on Pathankot, NIA presses more evidence

They came. They saw. They left. And never responded back. That is how the saga on Pathankot probe is turning out following the high-profile visit by Pakistan’s Joint Investigation Team to India. Although Pakistan has refused to ‘reciprocate’ on India’s request to allow a visit of its investigating officials on its soil, the National Investigating Agency is continuing to press additional evidences against the purported masterminds. As a part of its effort, NIA is issuing fresh red corner notices against Jaish-e-Mohammad suspects Shahid Latif and Kashif Jan for their role in providing tactical support and logistics to the four militants who crossed from Pakistan to attack the airbase in Pathankot. It has also sent a supplementary Letters Rogatory – third in the series since March – with evidence on individuals and entities linked with JeM, as well as funding of JeM’s websites Al Qalam online and Rang-o-Noor.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>“Pakistan has so far not responded to any of our communication or previous LRs. But we remain optimistic as we have strong evidences,’’ a senior NIA official told reporters on Tuesday. The five-member JIT visited India from March 27 to April 1, during which they visited the air base and recorded statements of 16 witnesses. India’s repeated requests to visit Pakistan and finish the ‘joint investigation’ has hit roadblock, although officials expect Pakistan to act on the basis of reciprocity, like they did for the JIT.On May 13, the Central Bureau of Investigation – nodal agency representing Interpol – re-issued RCNs against JeM leader Maulana Masood Azhar and his brother Abdul Rauf. RCNs already exist on both, but NIA is hoping reissuing an RCN will put pressure on the international community to act urgently against them.The agency is also in the process of issuing fresh RCNs against two handlers Latif and Jan. According to NIA, Lateef is a senior associate in JeM with close knowledge on border areas of India. He was arrested and in Indian jail from 1994 until 2010 when he was released along with 20 other militants from Pakistan in a goodwill gesture to strengthen relationship with the neighbouring country. Lateef is believed to have helped JeM militants to cross over in the Punjab sector from where they made their way to the strategic airbase in Pathankot. The militants also made calls to a Pakistani number which was later traced to Kashif Jan and were in contact with him on phone for guidance.In its supplementary LR’s – a formal request issued by a court under the international legal procedure – the NIA has provided additional details on the identity and dna of the slain terrorists and financiers of Al Qalam online and Rang-o-Noor websites that are run by al Rahmat trust, a frontal organisation of JeM. In the LR, Pakistan authorities have been told to match the dna samples with the parents of the slain terrorist and send it back to India.“We have a strong case to visit Pakistan as the individuals and entities related to JeM and Pathankot attack are there. We have provided them (Pakistan) with all the evidence, establishing that the militants are Pakistani residents, after which they even registered an FIR there. Now it is upto them to proceed and take action,” the NIA officer said.

Pathankot attack: Interpol issues fresh Red Corner Notice against JeM chief Masood Azhar

New Delhi: Interpol on Tuesday issued a fresh Red Corner Notice against chief of banned Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror outfit Maulana Masood Azhar and his brother Abdul Rauf in connection with the attack on IAF base in Pathankot.

The fresh Red Corner notice was issued after the NIA secured an ‘open-ended’ non-bailable warrant against Azhar and Rauf for allegedly conspiring to carry out terror strike on the strategic Indian Air Force base at Pathankot on the intervening night of January one and two.

Seven security personnel were killed and bodies of four terrorists were recovered from the scene of encounter which lasted nearly 80 hours.

The fresh Red Corner notice is being seen as a mere formality as Pakistan has not yet acted on the arrest warrants earlier issued against the two.

An Interpol Red Corner Notice (RCN) is already pending against 48-year-old Azhar for being allegedly involved in the conspiracy behind attacks on Parliament and Jammu and Kashmir state assembly. Similar warrant is pending against 41-year-old Rauf in connection with the IC-814 hijacking case of 1999.

A file photo of Masood Azhar. ReutersA file photo of Masood Azhar. Reuters

A file photo of Masood Azhar. Reuters

The NIA had also moved in for issuance of RCN against two others — Kashif Jaan and Shahid Latif — in this case as they are alleged to be the handlers of the JeM terrorists who had infiltrated India on the intervening night of 30-31 December.

The fresh warrants were issued on the basis of evidence presented by the NIA before a Special court in Chandigarh which included telephonic conversation between the terrorists and the Jaish handlers like Jaan and Latif.

The video of Rauf was also presented before the court. In the video, which was uploaded on a website in Pakistan, Rauf had claimed responsibility for the attack and complimented his boys for it. The video was later removed and the website also vanished.

NIA had sought voice samples of Azhar and three others from Pakistan’s Joint Investigation Team (JIT) which came to India for probing the Pathankot attack.

India had pitched for banning Azhar at the UN but the move was vetoed by China.

Pakistan, after the return of the JIT in the first week of April, has not replied to various letters rogatory seeking legal assistance in probing the Pathankot attack.

Circus continues, another red-corner notice against Masood Azhar

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday said that it had initiated a process to update a pending Red Corner notice (RCN) against Masood Azhar, the alleged mastermind behind the Pathankot terror attack, which claimed the lives of seven security personnel and a civilian.”The process is under way and we will soon be hearing an update,” said NIA IG Sanjeev Singh. It, however, remains to be seen how much of an effect a mere update will have on the activities of one of the most-wanted terrorists in India.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An Interpol RCN is already pending against Azhar for his alleged involvement in the attacks on Parliament and the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly. Another is pending against his brother Asad Rauf in connection with the IC-814 hijacking case of 1999.While the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is supposed to correspond with the Interpol regarding the RCN against Azhar, said that it had not officially received a request from the NIA, the CBI is likely to request the Interpol for a fresh RCN against Kashif Jaan and Shahid Latif in connection with the terror attack at the Pathankot airbase.While the NIA said that the RCN move was a procedure in terror attack cases, the development comes soon after China stopped the UN sanctions committee from designating Azhar as a terrorist.This was seen largely as a negative development but was not the first one in the month of April. Earlier, according to reports in Pakistani media, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which had visited India to probe the Pathankot terror attack, had stated that “the attack was a drama staged to malign Pakistan”.While media reports did not quote any JIT member who had come to India, Pakistan Today quoted the JIT report as saying: “Indian authorities made it a three-day drama to get maximum attention from the world community in order to malign Pakistan”. While the report attributed the quote to an anonymous source, no official correspondence between the two countries regarding Pakistani media reports has been reported so far.While India tries to draw international attention towards Azhar and his brother Rauf, investigating officials of the Pathankot probe are not 100% sure about the intentions of authorities in Pakistan.”We would like to see the Pathankot probe reach its logical conclusion. For now, we are following all the required procedures on our end,” an NIA official told dna.

Strange, ‘diplomat’ Abdul Basit is making undiplomatic statement: RK Singh

Former home secretary RK. Singh on Saturday criticised Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit for asserting that the India-Pakistan Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue has been suspended at present. He said it is strange to see that a diplomat making such an ‘undiplomatic’ remark. “What Mr Basit said was not diplomatic at all. It is strange that a diplomat is making such an undiplomatic statement. He has been guilty of undiplomatic acts earlier as well,” Singh said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I don’t know what he was trying to do, whether he was trying to sum up the current situation when he said that the talks are suspended, or, whether he was announcing a decision that the talks are suspended. In any case, his statement was immediately contradicted by Pakistan,” he added.The former home secretary also asserted that the talks between the two nations cannot take place unless and until Pakistan takes action against those who planned the January 2 Pathankot terror attack. Basit said dialogue with India is suspended and hinted that the National Investigative Agency (NIA) will not be given access to JeM chief Masood Azhar for the probe into the Pathankot attack. “I would say the dialogue is suspended,” Basit said during an interaction at the Foreign Correspondents Club while responding to a question on the status of the comprehensive bilateral dialogue announced by Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistan counterpart Sartaj Aziz last December.India has countered Basit’s assertion that the visit by Pakistan’s JIT to investigate the Pathankot terror attack was not on the basis of reciprocity. Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that the Indian High Commission in Islamabad had formally conveyed to the Pakistan Foreign Ministry that the terms of reference of the JIT’s visit are broadly agreed to with the condition that these would be on the basis of reciprocity.Reacting to Basit’s remarks that the peace process between India and Pakistan stands suspended, Swarup referred to Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Nafees Zakaria’s press conference in which he had stated that both countries are in contact with each other and it has been reiterated from both sides that modalities are being worked out.

Amid Pakistan ‘suspending’ peace process with India, US says both countries should engage in direct dialogue

Amid Pakistan “suspending” peace process with India, the Obama administration has said it encourages both the countries to “engage in direct dialogue” to “reduce tensions” between them.”We believe and it’s been our longstanding position that India and Pakistan stand to benefit from the normalisation of relations and practical cooperation, and we encourage them to do so, to engage in direct dialogue that’s aimed at reducing tensions between the two governments and two countries,” US State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner told reporters at his daily news conference yesterday.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We strongly support those efforts, because we believe it, will lead to greater stability and peace in the region and is to the benefit of both countries,” Toner said in response to a question on the remarks of Pakistan Ambassador to India Abdul Basit in New Delhi earlier in the day wherein he said the talks between the two countries are “suspended”.
ALSO READ Pakistan calls off peace talks with India unilaterally; MEA reminds Pak that JIT visit was on a reciprocal basisThe US official, however, did not respond to questions on the arrest of an Indian national in Balochistan, who Pakistan alleges worked for an Indian spy agency. “I am aware of the reports about the arrest. I don’t have any details of the arrest,” Toner said.Pakistan has denied the arrested Indian national access to consular services from the Indian government.

Pakistan calls off peace talks with India unilaterally; MEA reminds Pak that JIT visit was on a reciprocal basis

Pakistan on Thursday suspended the peace talks with India, with its high commissioner in New Delhi, Abdul Basit, saying that Jammu and Kashmir was the root cause of mutual distrust and attempts to put it on the back- burner would be counterproductive.The move comes a day after foreign secretary S Jaishankar mentioned that India has succeeded in keeping the focus firmly on the central issue of terrorism in its relationship with Pakistan.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Basit even ruled out the possibility of allowing the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to visit Pakistan to reciprocate India’s gesture of allowing their Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to travel to Pathankot to carry forward the investigations.”It was more about extending cooperation in investigations, rather reciprocity. It is not a question of reciprocity..You can draw inference from my statement,” said Basit.Ministry of external affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that the JIT visit was on a reciprocal basis.”The work of JIT in India was as per the terms of reference which were agreed between the two governments through their respective foreign offices. They are on a reciprocal basis and in accordance with the existing legal provisions,” Swarup added.On Thursday, while inaugurating the American think tank Carnegie’s India office, foreign secretary Jaishankar discussed the problems in relations with Pakistan, while counting successes in neighbourhood diplomacy.”Pakistan, of course, is in a category by itself. But given the challenges of that relationship, we have fared well in keeping the focus firmly on the central issue of terrorism….we also look beyond to a more normal relationship, featuring the economic cooperation and people-to-people ties,” he said.Though there was no official word from the MEA, an official referred to the statement by DG, NIA, on April 1, soon after the conclusion of the visit of the Pakistan JIT. The statement, prepared in full concurrence with the Pakistani team, said that interactions were held in accordance with terms of reference mutually agreed on the basis of reciprocity.”The Pakistan JIT assured us their full cooperation and promised to execute the LR which has been received by them. The Pakistan JIT was informed that a team of NIA officials would like to visit Pakistan to carry forward the investigation in the Pathankot attack,” it added.Earlier, while addressing media at the Foreign Correspondents Club, Basit said there were no short-cuts to achieving a lasting peace, nor does cherry-picking work, making a case for engaging uninterruptedly, comprehensively and meaningfully.He also mentioned that the recent arrest of retired Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadav corroborated Pakistan’s allegations of external forces creating unrest and destability. He also revealed that Pakistani authorties have arrested scores of terror operatives with foreign linkages.Referring to India’s thrust of building a regional cooperative structure, Basit said it cannot be built on unpredictable bilateral relations. “We need to move on all fronts simultaneously, if we are to benefit from the opportunities unleashed by globalisation,” he said.Pakistan is hosting the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in November. PM Modi is also looking to visit Islamabad to attend the meeting of grouping.On the issue of dangers of nuclear weapons, he said that Pakistan had offered a mechanism of strategic restraint regime, that needs to be put on the table to prevent an arms race in the region. He also rejected any impression about Pakistani nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists, saying they were fully in safe hands.He supported the Chinese viewpoint to block India’s plea to ban Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar. “I subscribe to Chinese viewpoint,” the envoy said.External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj is also expected to raise the issue of China’s veto with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. Swaraj will be meeting Wang on the sidelines of a trilateral in Moscow on April 18.

Indian probe team unlikely to be allowed to visit Pakistan

Pakistan on Thursday indicated that an Indian probe team is unlikely to be allowed to visit that country in connection with investigation into the Pathankot terror strike, pouring cold water on India’s expectations.Pakistan envoy Abdul Basit said the whole investigation is not about question of reciprocity and is about cooperation between the two countries in probing the Pathankot attack.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It is very difficult for me to say. But at this stage… the whole investigation is not about question of reciprocity in my view. It is more about extending cooperation or our two countries cooperating with each other to get to the bottom of the incident,” Basit said.
ALSO READ Abdul Basit’s ‘suspended talks’ remark: Pakistan High Commissioner should be sent back, says Subramanian Swamy His comments came days after a five-member Joint Investigation Team(JIT) from Pakistan visited India to carry forward the probe into the attack at the Pathankot airbase after which India was expecting to send an NIA team to the neighbouring country. Earlier, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said NIA did mention to the JIT that they would like to visit Pakistan in connection with the probe.”The work of JIT in India was as per the terms of reference which were agreed between the two governments thrrough their respective foreign offices. They (visit) are on reciprocal basis and in accordance with the existing legal provisions,” Swarup said.
ALSO READ India counters Abdul Basit’s assertion, reminds Pakistan that both sides agreed on reciprocity on Pathankot probeBasit, however, during an interaction in Foreign Correspondents’ Club here, said, “This whole incident in not about reciprocity it is about cooperating with each other and let’s hope that the spirit of cooperation is retained in the days and weeks ahead,” he said.Asked whether he was ruling out NIA visit to Pakistan, he said, “I leave it to your imagination.” The JIT from Pakistan had visited India last month and went around the strategic IAF airbase in Pathankot which was attacked by Pakistani terrorists on the intervening night of January one and two, leaving seven securitymen dead. Four Pakistani terrorists were also killed in the gunbattle.

India counters Abdul Basit’s assertion, reminds Pakistan that both sides agreed on reciprocity on Pathankot probe

The Ministry of External Affairs gave a statement after Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit said on Thursday that peace talks between both countries were suspended and that Indian team won’t be allowed to conduct probe on its soil. MEA Vikas Swarup issued a statement which said that both Pakistan had agreed to reciprocate after India allowed JIT to enter. He also said that on Thursday evening Pakistan Foreign Ministry said that talks will go on.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We have seen comments by Pakistan High Commissioner on the visit of JIT to investigate. The comment has a reference to reciprocity, we would like to clarify that before the visit of JIT, Indian High Commission formally conveyed to Pakistan Foreign Ministry that Terms of Reference “are broadly agreed to with proviso that these would be on the basis of reciprocity and followed in accordance with extant legal provisions.”Pakistan High Commissioner also stated that he thought the peace process is suspended. We note the Spokesman of Pakistani MoFA said, ‘Your question implies whether the Foreign Secretary level talks will take place or not I’ve stated this many times that both countries are in contact with each other and it has been reiterated from both sides that modalities are being worked out. I will again state that negotiations are the best means to resolve the issues I’ve read statement of Indian Foreign Secy you are referring to and in that also there was indication that talks would take place,” MEA spokesperson said.Introducing a fresh chill in Indo-Pak ties, Pakistan earlier said the bilateral peace process stands “suspended”, indicated that it would not allow Indian investigators to travel there and accused India of creating unrest in its territory.He poured cold water on India’s expectations that a team of NIA investigators would be allowed to visit Pakistan in connection with the Pathankot terror strike probe on the basis of reciprocity, a Pakistani Joint Investigation Team (JIT) having just concluded a visit to India.”The whole investigation is not about the question of reciprocity in my view. It is more about extending cooperation or our two countries cooperating with each other to get to the bottom of the incident,” Basit said.Basit opened his interaction at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club with a written statement in which he made a pointed reference to a former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Yadav, currently in detention in Pakistan on charges of spying. Yadav’s arrest “irrefutably collaborates what Pakistan has been saying all along”, he said alluding to Pakistani charges that India was fomenting trouble in the restive province of Balochistan.”We are all aware of those who seek to create unrest in Pakistan and de-stabilise the country,” the envoy said.

Pathankot witnesses from Indian security forces not produced before JIT: Pakistan

Islamabad/New Delhi: Pakistan on Wednesday said its Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that was in India to probe the Pathankot terror attack had visited the “crime scene” but witnesses from the Indian security forces were not produced before the probe team.

A day after India dismissed a report in Pakistan Today, quoting sources in the JIT that the 2 January attack on the Pathankot Indian Air Force base was stage-managed by India, a statement from the Pakistan foreign office said the JIT had visited India from 27 March to 1 April, 2016 for “investigating the allegations regarding the attack on Pathankot airbase, India”.

The Pakistan investigative team that has come to India for probing the Pathankot attack. IBNLIVEThe Pakistan investigative team that has come to India for probing the Pathankot attack. IBNLIVE

The Pakistan investigative team that has come to India for probing the Pathankot attack. IBNLIVE

“The visit started with a presentation given by the Indian National Investigation Agency (NIA) regarding its investigations so far.

“The JIT visited the crime scene and also recorded the statements of some witnesses. However, the witnesses belonging to the Indian security forces were not produced before it.

“The JIT briefed the NIA on progress of investigations in Pakistan. Further investigations are underway.

“The visit of the JIT to India took place in the context of the cooperative approach being pursued by the government of Pakistan as part of its commitment to effectively fight terrorism in all its forms,” the statement said.

Earlier, a Pakistan Today report quoting sources in the JIT said “the Indian authorities had prior information about the attackers” but the country used the incident as a tool to expand its “vicious propaganda”.

“India used the attack as a tool to expand its “vicious propaganda” against Pakistan ‘without having any solid evidence to back the claim’,” the source told the newspaper.

India on Tuesday dismissed the Pakistan Today report as “total concoction”, while union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said no one, including people in Pakistan, will believe that the Pathankot attack was stage-managed by India.

The 2 January attack was carried out by Jaish-e-Mohamed terrorists from Pakistan, in which seven Indian security force personnel were killed.

The attack has led to stalling of the resumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan, which had been kick-started by a visit to Pakistan late last year by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and a 25 December stop-over visit to Lahore by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during which he held talks over tea with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif.

During Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Islamabad and her meeting with the Pakistani leadership, including Sharif, both sides had agreed to resume the stalled dialogue — which they called Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue.

The modalities of holding the dialogue, including a section on tackling terrorism, was to be discussed by the foreign secretaries of the two countries in January this year. But the Pathankot attack has put a spanner in the process.

Sharif has directed a high level team to probe the “specific and actionable” evidence provided by India.

Pathankot witnesses from Indian forces not produced before JIT, says Pakistan

Islamabad/New Delhi: Pakistan on Wednesday said its Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that was in India to probe the Pathankot terror attack had visited the “crime scene” but witnesses from the Indian security forces were not produced before the probe team.

A day after India dismissed a report in Pakistan Today, quoting sources in the JIT that the January 2 attack on the Pathankot Indian Air Force base was stage-managed by India, a statement from the Pakistan foreign office said the JIT had visited India from March 27 to April 1, 2016 for “investigating the allegations regarding the attack on Pathankot airbase, India”.

The Pakistan investigative team that has come to India for probing the Pathankot attack. IBNLIVEThe Pakistan investigative team that has come to India for probing the Pathankot attack. IBNLIVE

The Pakistan investigative team that has come to India for probing the Pathankot attack. IBNLIVE

“The visit started with a presentation given by the Indian National Investigation Agency (NIA) regarding its investigations so far.

“The JIT visited the crime scene and also recorded the statements of some witnesses. However, the witnesses belonging to the Indian security forces were not produced before it.

“The JIT briefed the NIA on progress of investigations in Pakistan. Further investigations are underway.

“The visit of the JIT to India took place in the context of the cooperative approach being pursued by the government of Pakistan as part of its commitment to effectively fight terrorism in all its forms,” the statement said.

Earlier, a Pakistan Today report quoting sources in the JIT said “the Indian authorities had prior information about the attackers” but the country used the incident as a tool to expand its “vicious propaganda”.

“India used the attack as a tool to expand its “vicious propaganda” against Pakistan ‘without having any solid evidence to back the claim’,” the source told the newspaper.

India on Tuesday dismissed the Pakistan Today report as “total concoction”, while union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said no one, including people in Pakistan, will believe that the Pathankot attack was stage-managed by India.

The January 2 attack was carried out by Jaish-e-Mohamed terrorists from Pakistan, in which seven Indian security force personnel were killed.

The attack has led to stalling of the resumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan, which had been kick-started by a visit to Pakistan late last year by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and a December 25 stop-over visit to Lahore by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during which he held talks over tea with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif.

During Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Islamabad and her meeting with the Pakistani leadership, including Sharif, both sides had agreed to resume the stalled dialogue — which they called Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue.

The modalities of holding the dialogue, including a section on tackling terrorism, was to be discussed by the foreign secretaries of the two countries in January this year. But the Pathankot attack has put a spanner in the process.

Sharif has directed a high level team to probe the “specific and actionable” evidence provided by India.

JIT briefed NIA on progress of investigations in Pakistan, says MoFA

The Pakistani Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which visited India from March 27 to April 1 for investigating the allegations regarding the attack on Pathankot Airbase, briefed the NIA on progress of investigations in Pakistan, said a statement issued by the office of spokesperson of the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on Wednesday.It said the visit of the JIT to India, which took place in the context of the cooperative approach being pursued by the Government of Pakistan as part of its commitment to effectively fight terrorism in all its forms, started with a presentation given by the Indian National Investigation Agency (NIA) regarding its investigations so far.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Thereafter, the JIT visited the crime scene and also recorded the statements of some witnesses. However, the witnesses belonging to the Indian security forces were not produced before it, it said.Further investigations are underway.However, earlier a report published in Pakistan Today claimed that the JIT had concluded that the Pathankot terror attack was staged by India to spread ?vicious propaganda? against Pakistan, is a total concoction.The Pakistan JIT is set to give its report to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Sources told Pakistan Today that the JIT has slammed India over its claims of a Pakistani hand in the attack, saying that New Delhi continues to expand its propaganda “without having any solid evidence to back the claim”.The report also claims that the Indian Government did not cooperate with the JIT, but instead made efforts to hinder the probe. The JIT had examined 13 witnesses, including former Gurdaspur Superintendent of Police Salwinder Singh.Pakistani terrorists attacked the Pathankot Air Force Station in January this year, in which four attackers and two security forces personnel were killed in the gun battle, with an additional security force member dying from injuries hours later.

Security alert issued: 3 Pakistani terrorists travelling in J&K could be planning attack on Delhi, Mumbai or Goa

On Wednesday, Punjab police issued an alert saying that three Pakistani terrorists could be planning an attack in Delhi, Mumbai and Goa.

A grey Swift Dzire with license plate JK-01 AB-2654 which is expected to pass through the Banihal Tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir later on Wednesday, packed with explosives, is carrying three Pakistani terrorists and ‘a local’, reported NDTV.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

“You are directed to take all the necessary steps in this regard and specially focus on strict checking of vehicles, security of all vital installation including police buildings and defence establishments, religious places, crowded places such as market areas, malls, railway stations, railway tracks, and educational institutions,” an alert issued by the police said.

According to International Business Times, Punjab has witnessed two terror attacks in recent months. The Pathankot airbase attack happened in January and the attack on Gurdaspur police station happened in July last year.

Seven security personnel and four attackers were killed in the Pathankot attacks and the Pakistani Joint Investigative Team (JIT), who probed the attack, claimed that the Indian authorities had staged the attack to malign Pakistan.

According to the report by NDTV, last month, Pakistani National Security Advisor Naseer Khan Janjua warned India that 10 terrorists had crossed the border into India and planned to attack on the festival of Maha Shivratri. The Home Ministry claimed that the terrorists were neutralised but no evidence or details were ever provided.

Pathankot probe: India says ‘stage-managed’ allegations are ‘double-speak’ by Pakistan

Pakistan media reports that the Pathankot terror attack was “stage-managed” by India are seen in New Delhi as “double-speak” by Pakistan’s security establishment.

“The report in a Pakistan pro-government daily only shows that ISI and Pakistan Army were doing double-speak. India has provided irrefutable evidence to Pakistan Joint Investigation Team (JIT) during their visit here regarding the involvement of Pak-based terrorists,” a government source said.

File image of the Pakistan investigative team. IBN Live

File image of the Pakistan investigative team. IBN Live

The news report in daily Pakistan Today quoted an unnamed JIT member as saying that the attack was nothing but “vicious propaganda” against Pakistan as Indian authorities did not have any evidence to back their claims.

Rebutting the report, another government source said the evidence provided to JIT can stand international scrutiny and expressed surprise over media reports emerging that the NIA had not provided enough evidence to the visiting team.

“The JIT was handed over whatever they asked for which included certified copies of statements of witnesses, DNA reports of four terrorists, memos of articles seized from them,” the source said.

Pakistan had made a request under section 188 of Criminal procedure Code of Pakistan for collecting the evidence from the NIA.

The call data records of the two phones snatched from Superintendent of Police Salwinder Singh and his jeweller friend Rajesh Verma which were used by the terrorists to call a number in Pakistan were also shared with the JIT, the source said.

India also shared the conversation recorded between Nasir Hussain, one of the four terrorists who carried out the attack on IAF base during the intervening night of 1 and 2 January, with his mother Khayyam Babber. The NIA has asked for a DNA sample from Nasir’s family.

The agency has also handed over call recordings of terrorists holed up inside the IAF base with their handlers including Kashif Jaan, who has since been missing.

The Pakistani JIT had asked NIA to hand over swabs of four terrorists identified as Nasir Hussain (Punjab province), Abu Bakar, (Gujranwala), Umar Farooq and Abdul Qayum (both from Sindh).

However, the NIA handed over to the visitors the DNA report of the terrorists and asked them to match those with their family members, the sources said.

The Pakistani JIT headed by Additional Inspector General of Police, Counter Terrorism Department, Muhammad Tahir Rai and also including ISI’s Lt Col Tanvir Ahmed, had recorded statements of 16 people.

The list for recording the witnesses was submitted to the NIA by the Pakistani team.

The 16 witnesses questioned in all included Singh, Verma and cook Madan Gopal. The three were kidnapped by the Pathankot attack perpetrators belonging to the banned Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed on the intervening night of 31 December, 2015 and 1 January, 2016.

The terrorists had allegedly dumped Verma after slitting his throat and continued their journey with Singh and Gopal before jettisoning them a few kilometres away from the strategic air base at Pathankot.

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

What the Pakistani JIT report said

The JIT “says the attack was a drama staged to malign Pakistan,” according to a report in Pakistan Today. It further said that the JIT report, which will be submitted to Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the next few days, has even concluded that Indian authorities had prior information about the terrorists.

The report also quoted a member of the JIT as saying that the NIA officer’s murder on Saturday night in Uttar Pradesh showed that “Indian establishment wants to keep the matter under wraps.”

The same source also told Pakistan Today that the JIT concluded that the standoff between the Indian army and “alleged” terrorists ended within hours after the attack, which apparently made it clear that the attack was a drama staged to malign Pakistan.

“The Indian authorities made it a three-day drama to get maximum attention from the world community in order to malign Pakistan,” Pakistan Today quoted the JIT report as saying.

The source also told Pakistan Today that no “major” damage was done to the base and that the perimeter lights at the airbase were not functional on the day of the attack, which apparently raises questions about whether India had prior information about the terrorists.

This is not the first time, though, that the Pakistani media and the JIT have made allegations of hiding evidence against India.

On 28 March, a report by Pakistani news channel Dunya News had said that Indian authorities showed “signs of reluctance” when the JIT asked them for information and evidence.

“Sketches of the attackers, footage of the closed-circuit television, duty registers of the Border Security Force (BSF), details of the bank accounts, service records, post-mortem report of the driver who died in the car accident at the time of the incident and the FIR of that car’s snatching have not been given to the Pakistani investigation team,” a report in Pakistani newspaper Daily Times had said.

The report had further said that post-mortem and DNA reports of the terrorists involved and phone records and information about the commander of Pathankot airbase had not been given to the JIT.

The Dunya News report had further claimed that the stances of the Indian government and BSF regarding the terror attack were contradicting each other.

Moreover, the report had said that while Indian authorities had said that terrorists had entered the Pathankot airbase after climbing ten-feet walls, no ropes were found as evidence.

These claims by the Pakistani media had come just a day after it was found that Pakistan’s electronic media regulatory body (PEMRA) on Sunday had released a statement for the Pakistani media, asking them to be “professional” and “responsible” when reporting on the Lahore attacks, unlike the Indian media.

What is truly surprising about the Pakistani JIT report’s claim is that it comes just days after the same JIT admitted that the terrorists were from Pakistan. Reports had, in fact, also suggested that Pakistan had enough evidence to link them to extremist group Jaish-e-Mohammad.

Moreover, during the beginning of the investigation, Indian investigators had said that the visiting officials did not “contradict” any of the evidence submitted by the NIA.

“The fact that they did not contradict or made any adverse comment or observation is a positive sign,” sources had told IANS.

(With inputs from agencies)

Pathankot probe: Pak Media report on JIT total concoction?

A report published in Pakistan Today, which states that the Joint Investigation Team has concluded that the Pathankot terror attack was staged by India to spread ‘vicious propaganda’ against Pakistan, is a total concoction, said sources.The sources claimed that while in India, the JIT took onboard the detailed evidence which was shared by NIA and since the JIT collected evidence in accordance with a Pakistani law which applies to Pakistani citizens committing an offence abroad, the involvement of Pakistanis in the Pathankot terror attack is self evident. The Pakistan JIT is set to give its report to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and sections of the Pakistan media have claimed that India is indulging in ‘vicious propaganda’ against Islamabad.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sources told Pakistan Today that the JIT has slammed India over its claims of a Pakistani hand in the attack, saying that New Delhi continues to expand its propaganda “without having any solid evidence to back the claim”.The report also claims that the Indian Government did not cooperate with the JIT, but instead made efforts to hinder the probe.On Friday, the JIT returned to Pakistan after their five-day visit to India during which all evidence pertaining to the January 2016 attack was shared with them, including the DNA of four terrorists, their identities as well as call records showing involvement of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).The JIT had on Thursday examined 13 witnesses, including former Gurdaspur Superintendent of Police Salwinder Singh. Pakistani terrorists attacked the Pathankot Air Force Station in January this year, in which four attackers and two security forces personnel were killed in the gun battle, with an additional security force member dying from injuries hours later.

Pakistan JIT report on Pathankot attack a slap on the face of India, says JDU

Janata Dal(U) on Tuesday attacked the Centre over Pakistani JIT reportedly putting the blame on India for Pathankot terror attack saying it was a “slap” on the face the country for which Narendra Modi dispensation “is responsible”.”It is a matter of shame for our country that the report of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) constituted to investigate Pathankot terror attack is reported to have stated that India had staged the drama. “As a citizen of this country, my first question is that whether any country in the world would allow the investigation team of another country to come and investigate the terrorist attack. The answer is no and this has never happened in any country of the world,” party President Sharad Yadav said in a statement. He said “ours is a government which has allowed such a team to investigate and that team has slapped on us”.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I do not understand as to who is advising such actions to the high command in this country. This action of the government was not advisable at all and not only we have shown our weakness but also they have made fool of us,” Yadav said.Holding that a lot of maturity is required in taking high- level decisions concerning foreign policy, Yadav said the development is not only an “insult” of the BJP-led government but that of 125 crore Indians. He said while he is in favour of continuance of talks with Pakistan as this is the only way to bring peace in both the countries, efforts for having good relations with the neighbouring countries “cannot be at the cost of dignity and respect of our people”.”We have established one after the other expert agencies such as IB, RAW, NIA, Police, Army and so on but to allow the agencies of other countries to investigate such attacks is demoralisation and insult of the personnel of our agencies. Government has to make it clear that either they do not have confidence in our own agencies or there was something else behind such a step,” Yadav said.

Pakistan JIT says Pathankot attack was ‘a drama staged to malign Islamabad’: Pak media report

Just a few days after the Pakistani Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the Pathankot terror attack admitted that the four terrorists who attacked the Pathankot Indian Air Force base were from Pakistan, the JIT has said that the Pathankot attack had been staged by India, according to a Pakistani media report.

The JIT “says the attack was a drama staged to malign Pakistan,” according to a report in Pakistan Today. It further said that the JIT report, which will be submitted to Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the next few days, has even concluded that Indian authorities had prior information about the terrorists.

File image of the Pakistan Joint Investigation Team. IBNLive

File image of the Pakistan Joint Investigation Team. IBNLive

The report also quoted a member of the JIT as saying that the NIA officer’s murder on Saturday night in Uttar Pradesh showed that “Indian establishment wants to keep the matter under wraps.”

The same source also told Pakistan Today that the JIT concluded that the standoff between the Indian army and “alleged” terrorists ended within hours after the attack, which apparently made it clear that the attack was a drama staged to malign Pakistan.

“The Indian authorities made it a three-day drama to get maximum attention from the world community in order to malign Pakistan,” Pakistan Today quoted the JIT report as saying.

The source also told Pakistan Today that no “major” damage was done to the base and that the perimeter lights at the airbase were not functional on the day of the attack, which apparently raises questions about whether India had prior information about the terrorists.

This is not the first time, though, that the Pakistani media and the JIT have made allegations of hiding evidence against India.

On 28 March, a report by Pakistani news channel Dunya News had said that Indian authorities showed “signs of reluctance” when the JIT asked them for information and evidence.

“Sketches of the attackers, footage of the closed-circuit television, duty registers of the Border Security Force (BSF), details of the bank accounts, service records, post-mortem report of the driver who died in the car accident at the time of the incident and the FIR of that car’s snatching have not been given to the Pakistani investigation team,” a report in Pakistani newspaper Daily Times had said.

The report had further said that post-mortem and DNA reports of the terrorists involved and phone records and information about the commander of Pathankot airbase had not been given to the JIT.

The Dunya News report had further claimed that the stances of the Indian government and BSF regarding the terror attack were contradicting each other.

Moreover, the report had said that while Indian authorities had said that terrorists had entered the Pathankot airbase after climbing ten-feet walls, no ropes were found as evidence.

These claims by the Pakistani media had come just a day after it was found that Pakistan’s electronic media regulatory body (PEMRA) on Sunday had released a statement for the Pakistani media, asking them to be “professional” and “responsible” when reporting on the Lahore attacks, unlike the Indian media.

What is truly surprising about the Pakistani JIT report’s claim is that it comes just days after the same JIT admitted that the terrorists were from Pakistan. Reports had, in fact, also suggested that Pakistan had enough evidence to link them to extremist group Jaish-e-Mohammad.

Moreover, during the beginning of the investigation, Indian investigators had said that the visiting officials did not “contradict” any of the evidence submitted by the NIA.

“The fact that they did not contradict or made any adverse comment or observation is a positive sign,” sources had told IANS.

The fact that the JIT is now saying that Indian authorities did not provide evidence and is claiming something as absurd as India staging the Pathankot attack shows exactly how dark relations between India and Pakistan truly are.

As this report in The Tribune had said, “Cricketers believe that if India and Pakistan were to play more games, it would help both countries to live in peace. They do not realise that at political and diplomatic levels too, both nations play games. This game is called one-upmanship, with surprise as an important element.”

With inputs from agencies

Pathankot attack staged by India; no evidence attackers entered from Pakistan, says Pak probe team: Report

The Pakistani Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the Pathankot attack has reportedly claimed that Indian authorities ‘failed’ to provide evidence to prove that Pakistan-based terrorists had stormed the IAF base, saying the attack was a drama staged by India to malign Pakistan. According to Pakistan Today, the Pakistan JIT has finalised its report and will submit it to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif .<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The JIT members had visited the Pathankot airbase on March 29 where National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials briefed them and showed them the route from where the attackers stormed the airbase.Quoting a source privy to the details of the report, the daily said, “The JIT report has concluded that the Indian authorities had prior information about the attackers. India used the attack as a tool to expand its “vicious propaganda” against Pakistan ‘without having any solid evidence to back the claim’.”The report also reportedly says that Indian authorities failed to establish that the attackers entered from Pakistan and within hours of the assault, all the attackers were shot dead by the Indian security forces.“However, the Indian authorities made it a three-day drama to get maximum attention from the world community in order to malign Pakistan,” the daily reported.The JIT returned on Sunday after a five-day visit to India during which all evidence pertaining to the attack was shared with them, including the DNA of four terrorists, their identity as well as call records showing involvement of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists behind the attack on the Pathankot air base during the intervening night of January 1 and 2.“The report concludes that the Pathankot attack looked like another false flag operation fully facilitated by the Indian army just to put the blame on Pakistan,” the source added.

Raheel Sharif calls the shots in Pakistan, not Nawaz: Then why this charade of a Pathankot ‘probe’?

What more proof of Pakistan’s doublespeak on terrorism does India need than Islamabad’s collusion with Beijing to block a proposed ban on Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar at the UN?

On the day Pakistan was working in cahoots with China to block the blacklisting of Azhar, the Pakistan Joint Intelligence Team (JIT) — uponing return to Islamabad — was gloating that India had ‘failed’ to provide evidence of the involvement of terrorists in the Pathankot attack. On the other hand, the NIA claims that India had provided all the evidence required. It included call records, names and addresses of suspects — including those of Masood Azhar and his brother Abdul Rauf — and ballistic and forensic reports.

The JIT team’s plea, as quoted by the Pakistan media, is specious to the say the least.

Nobody is surprised by the Pakistani team’s excuses.

File image of Nawaz Sharif and Raheel Sharif. AFP

File image of Nawaz Sharif and Raheel Sharif. AFP

Nobody should be.

The reason for Pakistan’s chicanery is simple and straightforward. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is not in charge of Pakistan’s foreign and security affairs. The other Sharif is — Pakistan’s chief of army staff Raheel Sharif has wrested control of foreign affairs and defence from the prime minister.

It’s no secret in Islamabad. The division of labour between two Sharifs was effected at the end of 2014. Raheel had rescued the beleaguered prime minister from the joint agitation launched by Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Tahirul Qadri’s Pakistani Awami Tehreek (PAT) calling for Nawaz’s dismissal. The army chief mediated between the government and the protesters to end the crisis and extracted his pound of flesh.

The army’s condition for mediation was that Raheel would be de facto in-charge of Pakistan’s foreign policy — including all security and defence policy including nuclear policy. Raheel also directly deals with the ongoing Afghan peace process. In October 2015, after Nawaz’s meeting with the President Barack Obama in Washington, Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper said in an editorial, “Worryingly, for the civilian dispensation and the democratic project, (Sharif) has appeared an increasingly peripheral figure in shaping key national security and foreign policy issues.”

Raheel has raised his profile as, perhaps, no other army chief, during the reign of an elected dispensation in Pakistan. The main reason for his rising profile is the relative success the army has achieved against terrorists during its Zarb-e-Azb campaign in North Waziristan and its success in restoring some semblance of order to Karachi. The chief of army staff is believed to have said at a meeting of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) — a London-based think tank — that Pakistan’s lack of governance required him to play the role of a “soldier statesman”.

The army chief accompanies Sharif on all his foreign visits. He travelled to Saudi Arabia and Iran with Sharif. It’s important to recall that he, and not Nawaz, offered to mediate between Saudi Arabia and Iran amid escalating disputes. He makes it a point to follow up the prime minister’s visits with his own trips to foreign nations. That’s because he is in charge of Pakistan’s foreign affairs; Nawaz is just a mask. He also followed up Nawaz’s meeting with Obama with his own trip.

The US State department and the Pentagon are reported to have held discussions with the army chief bypassing Nawaz. And it was much the same with China.

It may also be recalled that Raheel had conveyed his unhappiness to Nawaz after the latter hosted Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his Lahore home on 25 December last year without taking the army chief into confidence. The result was the Pathankot airbase attack on 2 January.

That’s why the Pathankot probe by the JIT Pakistan team is a charade. Who is Pakistan probing? Its own Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)?

The Pathankot attack wouldn’t have taken place without ISI and Pakistan’s military knowledge and complicity. Under these circumstances, one wonders whether the Modi government has taken a conscious decision to deal with the Pakistani army as an interlocutor and stakeholder. Or is Nawaz taking the Modi government for a ride? The Government of India should tell the Indian people the truth regarding whether it has indeed has chosen to make the Pakistani army the chief interlocutor in discussions about issues relating to cross-border terrorism and the involvement of Pakistan-based terror outfits in India.

By letting the JIT team visit India to collect evidence of the JeM’s involvement in the Pathankot attack, Modi can let his gamble play out. Let the NIA team pay a return visit to Pakistan. But rest assured, all this cat-and-mouse play will lead to nothing. The Modi government has a lot to answer for in light of the criticism that by allowing the JIT — with an ISI officer as its member — into India, the government has erred in making a distinction between the Pakistani state and non-state actors.

The government has fallen into the Pakistani army’s trap.

Pakistan’s ISI and the army are responsible for cross-border terrorism. Why this charade of collecting evidence?

Pathankot attack: NIA officer involved in probe shot dead; wife critically injured

A National Investigation Agency inspector was shot dead on Saturday night in his hometown in Uttar Pradesh’s Bijnor district, sources said on Sunday.

Inspector Mohammad Tanzil was returning from a wedding along with his wife and children when they were accosted and shot at by unidentified assailants near Sahaspur town. The gunmen, who were riding motorbikes, had followed the family.

“He along with his wife was returning from the wedding of his niece when two unidentified bike-borne persons stopped his car and shot at him. He was declared dead at a nearby hospital,” Rajkumar, SHO, Bijnor, said.

His wife was critically also injured and was rushed to hospital.

The NIA has rushed a team led by a deputy inspector general from Lucknow to probe Ahmed’s murder.

The attack comes days after the Pakistan Joint Investigation Team looking into the 2 January attack on Pathankot airforce base completed its five-day long India leg of their investigation and returned home.

Hindustan Times reported that the Pakistan JIT requested NIA to share evidence in the case. NIA officials told the publication that the written request was made under Section 188 of the Pakistani CrPC. This section is used to prosecute Pakistani nationals for committing crimes in other countries, they said.

However, according to sources close to the JIT, New Delhi failed to provide evidence to Islamabad’s Joint Investigation Team to prove their allegation that Pakistan based militants stormed the Air Force base.

The JIT members visited Pathankot airbase on 29 March where Indian National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials briefed and showed them the route from where the attackers stormed the airbase.

Pakistani investigators were allowed to enter the military airbase from the narrow adjacent route instead of the main entrance and the duration of their visit was just 55 minutes, enough to take a mere walk through the airbase, Geo News quoted sources as saying, adding that the JIT could not collect evidence in this limited time.

With inputs from agencies

Pakistan media says India ‘failed’ to provide evidence to JIT on Pathankot terror attack

A day after its return from India, the Pakistani Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the Pathankot attack claimed that Indian authorities “failed” to provide evidence to prove that Pakistan-based terrorists had stormed the IAF base, a media report here said on Saturday.Pakistani investigators were allowed to enter the military airbase from the narrow adjacent routes instead of the main entrance and their duration of the visit was just 55 minutes, enough to take a mere walk through the military facility, sources close to the JIT were quoted as saying by Geo News.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The JIT could not collect evidence in this limited time, the report said citing sources. The JIT members visited the Pathankot airbase on March 29 where National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials briefed them and showed them the route from where the attackers stormed the airbase.The sources were quoted as saying that the lights along the 24-km perimeter wall of the Pathankot airbase were found to be faulty on the eve of the attack. However, the report claimed that the Pakistani team was only informed about the negligence of Border Security Force (BSF) and Indian forces.The JIT returned yesterday after their five-day visit to India during which all evidence pertaining to the attack was shared with them, including the DNA of four terrorists, their identity as well as call records showing involvement of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists behind the attack on the Pathankot air base during the intervening night of January 1 and 2.The gun battle which lasted for more than 80 hours left seven security personnel dead. Bodies of four terrorists have been recovered so far.

Pathankot attack: Investigation team admits four terrorists were from Pakistan

The Pakistani Joint Investigation Team (JIT) admitted on Thursday that the four terrorists who attacked the Pathankot Indian Air Force base were from Pakistan, according to The Indian Express report. The investigation team was at National Investigation Agency (NIA) headquarters in New Delhi to question witnesses connected to the attack that took place on 2 January.

File image of the Pakistan investigative team. IBN Live

File image of the Pakistan Joint Investigation Team. IBN Live

Seven security personnel were killed in the attack. Though the terrorists were later shot dead, the incident exposed a major breach in India’s border security. Earlier, the NIA team had identified the four fidayeen as Nasir Hussain, Hafiz Abu Bakar, Abdul Qayum and Umar Farooq, reported The Times Of India. Reports also suggested that Pakistan had enough evidence to link them to extremist group Jaish-e-Muhammed.

A senior official was quoted by The Indian Express saying that both the countries have shared the identities of the attackers and will decide on the next course of action.

The report further stated that apart from giving their list of demands, the NIA has put down a list of questions and asked for audio samples of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar, his brother Abdul Rauf and Nasir’s mother Khayyam Baber and have sought access to Azhar and Rauf.

Apart from the details of the four terrorists, the NIA will also share details about the people who had cooperated with them and facilitated their entry into India through Bamiyal village on Indo-Pak border. According to the PTI, DNA samples were taken from the energy drink that the attackers are believed to have consumed before carrying out the suicide attack.

Suspended Gurdaspur Superintendent of Police Salwinder Singh, his cook Madan Gopal and friend Rajesh Verma were also questioned by Pakistan JIT. Singh has claimed that he, Verma and cook Gopal were abducted by four or five heavily-armed terrorists near Punjab’s Kolia village on 2 January.

The three were earlier questioned by the NIA on 26 March in the national capital and have been living under the agency’s supervision since then, the sources said.

With inputs from agencies

Irony alert: After blocking India’s attempt to ban JEM chief Masood Azhar, China talks about rising terrorist threat

Terrorist threat is on the rise, Chinese President Xi Jinping said and advocated China-US cooperation for promoting peace and stability in the world. “The terrorist threat is on the rise,” Xi told reporters at a joint media appearance with his US counterpart Barack Obama. He said the US and China have growing responsibilities for promoting peace and stability in the world. “As the largest developing country and the largest developed country, and also as the world’s top two economies, China and the United States have growing responsibilities for promoting world peace, stability and prosperity. There are wide areas where we should and we can work with each other,” the Chinese President said with Obama standing by his side.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Xi’s comments came ironically on the day on which his country blocked India’s bid at the UN to ban JeM chief Masood Azhar, the mastermind of the Pathankot terror attack. Welcoming Xi to Washington to attend the two-day Nuclear Security Summit, Obama said he looks forward to working with his Chinese counterpart on global economy. “As the world s two largest economies, we have a special obligation to find cooperative measures that we can take to expand growth and global demand,” he said. Obama said during their meeting, they would have “candid exchange” about areas where they have significant differences — issues like human rights, cyber and maritime issues. China did not give any reason on their move in their written communication which just says that they want to put a hold on India’s proposition. The US, UK and France had strongly supported the move and the other nations had also expressed their consent to proceed with the action on Azhar. But China, one of the five permanent members of the UN group with veto powers, collaborated with Pakistan to block the bid, sources add. China is now the only country that has stood up for Masood Azhar more than once. Ahead of the Nuclear Summit 2016, India had expressed its desire to ensure that Azhar was proscribed by the UN.“As regards the attack by JeM, we assure you that we will pursue the cause for justice. It is not a cause that we will leave or have forgotten about. I can assure you that we are proceeding with our efforts to ensure that this organisation which is already proscribed by the UN also has its leaders proscribed and that is the primary effort right now,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin, told ANI.Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Joint Investigating Team (JIT) that is probing the Pathankot attack reportedly told Indian officials that it is yet to find evidence to link Azhar to the terror attack. The Indian investigators had asked the JIT for the Jaish-e-Mohammed chief’s voice samples but were told that Azhar’s role in the incident is still being verified. India has in the past said Azhar and his brother Abdul Asghar Rauf were directly linked to the attack, which was planned at the JeM headquarters in Bahawalpur.With inputs from agencies

Pathankot terror attack: China backs Pak, blocks India’s proposal to ban JEM chief Masood Azhar

In a major disappointment for India, China collaborated with Pakistan to block New Delhi’s proposal to ban Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar. Following the attack on the Indian Air Force Base in Pathankot, killing seven Indian military personnel, India called on the United Nations for immediate action to list Azhar under the al-Qaida Sanctions Committee. According to sources, 14 out of 15 countries were willing to designate Azhar, but China alone decided to go against all the others in the bid. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>China did not give any reason on their move in their written communication which just says that they want to put a hold on India’s proposition. The US, UK and France had strongly supported the move and the other nations had also expressed their consent to proceed with the action on Azhar. But China, one of the five permanent members of the UN group with veto powers, collaborated with Pakistan to block the bid, sources add.China is now the only country that has stood up for Masood Azhar more than once. Ahead of the Nuclear Summit 2016, India had expressed its desire to ensure that Azhar was proscribed by the UN.“As regards the attack by JeM, we assure you that we will pursue the cause for justice. It is not a cause that we will leave or have forgotten about. I can assure you that we are proceeding with our efforts to ensure that this organisation which is already proscribed by the UN also has its leaders proscribed and that is the primary effort right now,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin, told ANI.Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Joint Investigating Team (JIT) that is probing the Pathankot attack reportedly told Indian officials that it is yet to find evidence to link Azhar to the terror attack. The Indian investigators had asked the JIT for the Jaish-e-Mohammed chief’s voice samples but were told that Azhar’s role in the incident is still being verified. India has in the past said Azhar and his brother Abdul Asghar Rauf were directly linked to the attack, which was planned at the JeM headquarters in Bahawalpur.

Pathankot probe: Pak JIT to record statements of witnesses today

The Pakistan Joint Investigation Team (JIT) on Thursday reached the National Investigation agency (NIA) headquarters in the national capital to record the statements of Pathankot attack witnesses?Gurdaspur Superintendent of Police Salwinder Singh, his cook Madan Gopal and jeweller Rajesh Verrma. The probe team arrived in the national capital on March 27 and visited the headquarters of the NIA the next day. However, it did not demand any input of the investigation carried out by the Indian agency.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The NIA, on its part, gave a detailed presentation to the JIT on the evidence collected during the course of the Pathankot terror attack probe. The probe team visited the Pathankot air base on March 29 and begun the probe into the deadly terror attack by visiting the site of the incident. After the Pakistani probe team’s visit to India, it is reported that the NIA officials will make a return visit to Pakistan to probe the role of Azhar and his brother Abul Rauf in the deadly terror attack at the Pathankot air base. The NIA is expected to seek access to Azhar, his brother Rauf and some key players like Kashif Jaan, identified by Indian investigators as the main handler of the slain terrorists.

Pathankot probe: NIA reveals names of four fidayeen attackers, evidence admissible in Pakistan court

In a major breakthrough in the Pathankot attack case, the National Investigation Agency(NIA) has identified the four fidayeen who attacked the IAF airbase and two of their Pakistan-based Jaish operators.

A Times of India report reveals the names of the four fidayeen  — Nasir Hussain, Hafiz Abu Bakar,  Abdul Qayum and Umar Farooq. The report also reveals that these attackers’ residence Vehari (Punjab), Gujranwala (Punjab), Sukkur (Sindh) and Sanghar (Sindh) districts in Pakistan.

The NIA has shared this information with the Pakistani Joint Investigation Team (JIT). The names and addresses of the attacker were discovered after their bodies were recovered from the encounter site and according to Sharad Kumar, DG NIA, they are waiting for the JIT to give them a confirmation on the names and get back to the NIA.

A source, speaking to DNA, has said that Pakistan has more than enough evidence that the attackers were affiliated with Jaish and that they should punish them. The source further added that the JIT will investigate into the issue for a few more days – which includes talking to the witnesses – and have also allegedly expressed their satisfaction. The JIT, reported DNA, will require all the evidence  under section 188 of their criminal procedure code (Cr PC) so they can produce it back in their courts; this would empower them to collect information about nationals in their country that are involved in crimes in other countries.

The Pakistan investigative team that has come to India for probing the Pathankot attack. IbnliveThe Pakistan investigative team that has come to India for probing the Pathankot attack. Ibnlive

The Pakistan investigative team that has come to India for probing the Pathankot attack. Ibnlive

Pakistani-based operators, identified as Kashif Jan and Shahid Latif, are allegedly responsible for operations in operations Sailkot and lauching cadres in India respectively, reported TOI.

The report further added that Kashif has been missing since his name came in the investigations and Latif was deported back to Pakistan after having served 10 years in an Indian jail.

The NIA is slated to visit Pakistan to further the Indian side of investigations, hoping to get access to Maulana Masood Azhar and his brother Rauf.

The investigations carried out on Wednesday included the NIA seeking voice samples of Azhar, Rauf, Latif and Kashif and DNA/voice samples of Fidayeen Nasir’s mother, identified as Khayyam Baber, who received calls from her son from Pathankot, said TOI‘s report.

The NIA’s probe into the attacks has eliminated all possibilities of the JIT denying that the attack was planned on their soil and facilitated by Pakistani fidayeen and handlers.

The JIT will examine witnesses which include Gurdaspur SP Salwinder Singh, Rajesh Verma who is Salwinder’s jeweller’s friend Salwinder’s personal cook Madan Gopal, said the DNA report. The witness examinations will be done through NIA officials and not directly by the JIT.

Evidence given by India against Jaish admissible in Pak courts

The material evidence that is being shared by the national investigation agency (NIA) with the visiting Pakistani investigators on Jaish-e-Mohammed’s involvement in Pathankot terror attack will be admissible in the courts in Pakistan, revealed a senior government functionary raising hopes of brining Maulana Masood Azhar to justice.”It (evidence) is more than enough for Pakistan to go after Jaish and punish them,” said the highly placed source adding that the NIA has provided joint investigation team (JIT) evidence as per their request that they had asked for to effectively prosecute perpetrators of Pathankot attack back home in Pakistan.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We were told that Pakistan would require evidence under section 188 of their criminal procedure code (Cr PC) to produce it back in their courts. It is equivalent to India’s Letter Rogatory and empowers them to collect evidence of their nationals involved in crimes in other countries. The handing over of evidence started today and will continue tomorrow or day after. It will also include examination of witnesses. The Pakistani investigators have expressed their satisfaction,” said the source.”The evidence we have gathered and given can withstand any international scrutiny. Even the DNA testing of the terrorists killed that has been shared with Pakistan is as per international norms applicable all over the world and cannot be refuted,” added the source.Expressing satisfaction over two days parleys, NIA director general Sharad Kumar said the Pakistani team has shared its investigation details with the Indian agency. He refused to give any details saying it would harm the investigation.”We have handed over list of what we need from them. We are in the process of handing over documents which they have asked from us,” said Kumar.Asserting that the principle of reciprocity agreed between India and Pakistan will allow similar facilitation to NIA team in Pakistan, inspector general, Sanjeev Kumar Singh said, “Reciprocity means what all we are doing in terms of help/cooperation to the JIT, the same would be done by them.”However, the itinerary of NIA’s visit to Pakistan is yet to be fixed.Pakistani investigators will examine key witnesses of Pathankot terror attack on Thursday and if need be on Friday. This would include Gurdaspur SP Salwinder Singh, his jeweller friend Rajesh Verma and personal cook Madan Gopal. The examination will be done not directly but through NIA officials.

Pathankot probe: Five reasons why Pakistan JIT’s visit didn’t compromise India’s national security

Was India’s national security compromised by allowing the five-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) from Pakistan to inspect the site of terror attack at the Pathankot air base?

By protesting at Pathankot on 29 March, Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party  wanted the nation to believe that the country’s internal security was compromised. However, while their protests might have gained them political mileage for the Punjab Assembly elections, national security experts do not think that India compromised its security by inviting Pakistan’s JIT.

The Pakistan investigative team that has come to India for probing the Pathankot attack. IbnliveThe Pakistan investigative team that has come to India for probing the Pathankot attack. Ibnlive

The Pakistan investigative team that has come to India for probing the Pathankot attack. Ibnlive

There are five facts that prove that national security wasn’t compromised by the visit of Pakistan’s JIT:

1. Only controlled access was given to JIT.

2. Even areas in the airbase that are otherwise not restricted, were barricaded.

3. The JIT members weren’t allowed to interact with any security or defence personnel, except designated officials.

4. No access was given to classified assets.

5. No discussion on tactical issues; no sharing of information on the blueprint of any strategy.

“The JIT was taken only to the encounter site—in the open area. Only controlled access was given. No one was allowed to even have a peek into the technical area, the most sensitive zone in an airbase,” said defence analyst, Maj Gen (retd) Dhruv Katoch. “For them it was like visiting a real estate site. Barricades were put up even in those areas where they were not present before,” he said.

Whatever might be the outcome of this investigation, experts feel that the government wants to reveal Pakistan’s intentions to the world, especially since Pakistan arrested Jaish-e-Mohammed operators for the Pathankot attack. They also believe that the information shared in the process does not qualify as classified.

“Another important aspect was that there were no discussions related to classified assets like air strips, hangers, ammunition, fuel, missiles, etc lying inside the airbase,” a senior defence personnel with over two decades of experience in counter insurgency and anti-terrorism operations in the region told Firstpost, on condition of anonymity.

“Tactical details were kept under wraps. So, how can one say that national security was compromised?” the expert said.

However, there can be no doubt that the step to allow entry to Pakistan’s JIT is unprecedented, one that India did not take even during the investigations of 26/11 Mumbai attack, where Pakistan’s involvement was far clearer than at any other time in history.

“During the UPA government, a highly confidential letter of Gen VK Singh got leaked from the PMO. That was the breach of security, and not the visit of Pak JIT to Pathankot. One has to understand the difference. The tragedy of India is that the political parties can’t see beyond their nose. The larger plan of India is to force Pakistan to deliver after this investigation, and if they can’t, Pakistan will get exposed,” Katoch said.

The possible benefit of this unprecedented step is that it will help India in perception building on a global level.

“As the JIT didn’t go into the operational area, there’s no question of compromise. Until now, Pakistan had been denying any involvement in any terror attack in India. But, after the Pathankot airbase attack, Pakistan has accepted a possible involvement of militants operating out of Pakistan. They arrested a few as well. The government’s logic is to give a rope to Pakistan,” added Alok Bansal, director, Centre for Security and Strategy, India Foundation.

Congress attacks Govt on permitting Pakistan JIT to visit Pathankot

Congress on Wednesday attacked the government on allowing Pakistani probe team to visit Pathankot air base and the decision to allow 100 per cent FDI in E-commerce while remaining non-committal on support to the GST.LIVE England vs New Zealand 1st Semi-Final T20, ICC World T20 2016, March 30, 2016Party’s senior spokesman Anand Sharma told reporters that the Pakistani Joint Investigative Team (JIT) was allowed in India in order to “cover up” the “failure” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Pakistan policy.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Prime Minister lacks vision or roadmap to engage with Pakistan and he has tried to mask every diplomatic failure by claiming success and having reached an understanding and also sincere assurance by Pakistan.” He claimed that till Wednesday the Prime Minister has not termed the terror strike at the strategic Pathankot air base as an “attack on India”.This, he suggested, was strange in the light of the fact that Modi had dubbed the 2008 Mumbai terror incidents as an attack on India.Besides, Sharma contended that since the conspiracy was hatched at Bahwalpur in Pakistan, it would have been in fitness of things that Indian investigators should have gone to the neighbouring country. He said India should have persuaded Pakistan to allow interrogation by Indian officers of Maulana Masood Azhar of the JeM, who is the mastermind behind the Pathankot terror strike.Sharma was also critical of the BJP chief Amit Shah for praising Modi on the JIT issue and said that in the coming session of Parliament, opposition would raise questions on the whole matter and will not allow the Prime Minister to maintain silence as usual.”The JIT team’s visit to and the certificate of commendation or sincerity and seriousness of effort given by BJP President speaks volumes of his lack of understanding of the complexity of Indo-Pak relations and the seriousness of the issue”, he remarked.Coming down hard on BJP and the government over “open threats” to topple party governments in the backdrop of Uttarakhand developments, Sharma said there cannot be any cooperation possible with the government as it has continued unabated its “politics of confrontation” with the opposition.”There is a world of difference between Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s precept and practice. He talks of cooperative federalism, but does exactly the opposite. In such a situation, any sort of cooperation is not possible”, Sharma said.Asked whether his statements meant that there cannot be any cooperation on the key reform measure GST which government planned to bring in the next session, Sharma merely said “it will be issue based, considering the merits”.Union Minister Jairam Ramesh had earlier stated that “BJP should not expect any help when they are murdering democracy in Arunachal Pradesh, followed by Uttarakhand. The NDA government has vitiated the atmosphere in Parliament”.Sharma deprecated the decision to allow 100 per cent FDI in the market place format of e-commerce retailing, saying it would play havoc with five crore retailers in the country already facing the brunt of economic slowdown. He said that the decision by the Modi dispensation would “harm” the interests of the country and especially hit small businessmen.

‘Naxalite’ Kejriwal cannot be taken seriously: Subramanian Swamy

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday described Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as a ‘Naxalite’ who was supporting anti-national elements while accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of surrendering to Pakistan.BJP leader Subramanian Swamy told ANI here, “Arvind Kejriwal and the Congress, they are all opposed to the Bharatiya Janata Party. That man (Arvind Kejriwal) is a Naxalite, he will say anything at any time. If we take a hard line on Pakistan, he will say, why have you taken a hard line?. If you take a soft line on Pakistan, he will say, they have invited Pakistan and all that? That man is a complete 420 (cheat). How can I take him seriously?”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As Indian and Pakistan officials met at the National Investigation Agency (NIA) headquarters in Delhi to take stock of the probe into the Pathankot attack, opposition parties slammed the government for giving the Pakistani team, ‘unfettered access’ to the Pathankot air base.The five-member Pakistani Joint Investigating team (JIT) is headed by Chief of Punjab’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Muhammad Tahir Rai and comprises Lahore’s Deputy Director General, Intelligence Bureau, Mohammad Azim Arshad, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) official Lieutenant-Colonel Tanvir Ahmed, Military Intelligence official Lieutenant-Colonel Irfan Mirza and Gujaranwala CTD Investigating Officer, Shahid Tanveer.Following inputs from the Ministry of Home Affairs about a possible threat to the JIT by the Islamic fundamentalist organizations based in Pakistan and their proxies in India, the Punjab Police made arrangements to provide 25 bulletproof cars to ferry them and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials in Pathankot and to areas close to the border.The note was sent after the JIT members arrived in India, sparking a political storm over whether they should be given access to the airbase.

NIA to seek access to Pathankot masterminds

With Pakistani joint investigation team’s (JIT) probe in India on Pathankot terror attack reaching its last leg, the National Investigation Team (NIA) has been asked by the government to prepare for its reciprocal visit to Pakistan.Highly placed sources told dna that as soon as NIA is prepared, the government will clear its visit to Pakistan that has already been decided on the basis of reciprocity between the two countries.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>NIA Director General Sharad Kumar said that the NIA will seek formal access of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar and his brother Muhammed Rauf Asghar.Kumar said the NIA has already given consideration evidence to the JIT of Jaish’s involvement in Pathankot attack and will supplement it further with more irrefutable evidence when the two sides sit across the table on Wednesday.The Indian investigation agency has also sought voice samples of Masood Azhar, his brother Rauf, handler of the terrorists – Kashaf Jaan, Hafiz Abdul Shakoor and Ashfaq Ahmed. Pakistan is yet to respond on NIA’s request.There is, however, a great deal of apprehension within the security establishment if the probe will reach logical end and pave the way for Jaish’s retribution.Many seasoned officials think that what all is being done is merely optics to create favourable circumstances to reestablish dialogue process between the two countries and Pakistan is not going to harm Jaish in anyway.Meanwhile, the NIA officials facilitated Pakistani investigators by taking them for a detailed visit of Pathankot where they were shown the infiltration route, the area from where terrorists entered the airbase and the area of engagement between terrorists and security forces.During their final meeting with NIA officials on Wednesday, the Pakistani investigators are expected to share their probe details done in Pakistan.India, however, made it clear officials that it will not provide Pakistani investigators the access to security personnel involved in operation against the Jaish terrorists.Firmly denying any possibility of such an access, BJP president Amit Shah preempted the move Pakistani investigators are expected to make during their Wednesday meeting.

Shiv Sena joins opposition in slamming govt over Pak JIT visit

Key BJP ally Shiv Sena on Tuesday joined Congress and AAP in attacking the government over a Pakistani team being allowed to visit an IAF base in Pathankot to probe the terror strike, calling it “wrong”.Mounting a fresh offensive over the visit today, Congress said the Modi government has set a “wrong precedent” and wondered why ‘biryani’ was being served to the JIT which also includes an ISI representative. As a political storm over the visit of a five-member Pakistani Joint Investigation Team(JIT) raged, the BJP fended off opposition criticism, saying the trip strengthens government’s stand that Pakistani territory was used to carry out the strike. It also accused Congress of criticising the visit due to “political malice”.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut while terming the government’s decision as “wrong” said rather an Indian team needs to be sent to Pakistan to probe those behind the terror strikes. Raut also reminded the Centre that not India, but Pakistan is an accused in the Pathankot strike. “On top of that, we have provided high security to the Pakistani team. Who are they scared of? The entire matter is laughable,” the Sena MP told PTI in Mumbai.He sought to know if the Centre will manage to get permission from Pakistan to get an Indian team to investigate in the neighbouring country.”Our team needs to be sent there to investigate the role of Hafiz Saeed and Azhar Masood in terror strikes in our country. But will we get permission? We need to remember we are not culprits but Pakistan is,” he said.Congress accused the government of compromising the country’s sovereignty and setting a “wrong” precedent. “It is known all over that the Pakistan’s ISI is behind the terror attacks in India, including the 26/11 Mumbai terror strikes, and still we are serving biryani to the JIT which also includes an ISI representative,” party spokesman P L Punia told reporters in Delhi.Replying to a question, he said the Narendra Modi dispensation has set a “wrong” precedent by allowing the JIT to visit India. BJP said the government has “adequate evidence” that Pakistani territory was used and terrorists based there were involved in the attack. “They (Pakistan) said they want to send an investigation team. It only strengthens our case and does not weaken it,” party National Secretary Shrikant Sharma told reporters.Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said only time will tell whether the visit will benefit India or not. He, however, said “the way Pakistani team came for probing the Pathankot attack and was allowed, Indian team should be allowed to (investigate) Mumbai and other such attacks (in Pakistan)”.Striking a tone different from other opposition parties, Omar’s father and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah backed the government over the visit, saying it was a “very good step” and that it was time for the two neighbouring countries to give up animosity and push friendship. Waving black flags and placards, scores of Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) workers stood outside the IAF base protesting against the visit and shouted anti-Pakistan slogans.

Pathankot terror attack: Farooq Abdullah backs govt for hosting Pakistan probe team JIT

Striking a tone different from parties like Congress, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Tuesday backed the government for hosting Pakistan’s probe team on Pathankot attack, saying it was time for the two countries to give up animosity and push friendship. The former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Minister said India and Pakistan have to join hands to defeat terror in the sub-continent and usher peace and prosperity in this state.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It is a very good step that India allowed the Pakistani JIT (Joint Investigation Team) to visit Pathankot. If we want to improve relations with the neighbouring country, then what is the harm in joining hands to see who is responsible for such attacks. They have come as they want to know who are responsible. So, let them see and then they will give their report on their return,” Abdullah said. His support to the government over the issue comes at a time when Congress and Aam Aadmi Party are slamming the Modi dispensation for hosting the JIT. “What happened in Lahore and if India decides to send its team there, I don’t think Pakistan will have any objections,” Abdullah said addressing workers at a function here.He said India and Pakistan would have to sit together to find solutions to the issues confronting the two countries. “There is no other option. We have had enough animosity and now time has come to take the friendship forward,” he said even as he cautioned that “there are some powers in both the countries who do not want peace as they earn their bread and butter on our blood.”Reiterating that the solution to Jammu and Kashmir issue lies in keeping that part of the state with that country and this part with India, Abdullah said Line of Control should be opened to allow easy movement of people from both sides of Kashmir. “Give Autonomy to this part of Kashmir and also give autonomy to the other part. This issue of Kashmir will get solved automatically,” he said while batting for opening new routes on the LoC to allow easy travel and trade between the two sides.He said India and Pakistan have to join hands to fight terrorism and “till that happens we would not get rid of terrorism”.

Pakistan JIT visit: Didn’t ask for Congress’ suggestion, says Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

In response to the Congress Party criticizing the BJP-led NDA Government’s move to permit a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) from Pakistan to visit the Pathankot Air Force Base, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday said that they had not asked for any suggestion from the grand old party regarding the visit.”We have not asked for any advice from the Congress on this. But because they are giving free advice, for that, I would like to thank them. But it would have been better if they would have given this advice when there were terror attacks one after another in India; but during that time they were sitting hands on hands,” BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told ANI here.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”As far as the nation’s security is concerned, Modi government’s motive is very clear . Nation’s security is of most priority for us,” he added.Earlier, the Congress Party slammed the government’s move to permit JIT from Pakistan to visit the Pathankot Air Force Base, saying this one step by the Modi government has led too much disgrace for the nation. “We are a democratic country, our institutions are far stronger than Pakistan. They are coming here because I believe they don’t trust our investigating agencies or whatever evidence we produce. That means we are going to allow a country to come into our sovereign land because they don’t trust us? Are we going to shame our agencies in front of Pakistani agencies? I think this one step by the Modi government has led to so much disgrace to the nation which is unfathomable for me,? said Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit.Expressing similar sentiments, another congress leader P.L. Punia said that it is unfortunate that the Pakistani JIT was allowed to come to India to investigate. Meanwhile, Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) staged massive protests outside the Air Base demanding that the JIT should go back.Chanting slogans against the Centre and holding placards saying ‘Pak JIT go back’ the protestors also waved black flags and reached the gates of the Air Base, where defence personnel were seen trying to restrain them and stop them from entering the restricted area. The five-member Pakistani JIT is headed by Chief of Punjab’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Muhammad Tahir Rai and comprises Lahore’s Deputy Director General, Intelligence Bureau, Mohammad Azim Arshad, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) official Lieutenant-Colonel Tanvir Ahmed, Military Intelligence official Lieutenant-Colonel Irfan Mirza and Gujaranwala CTD Investigating Officer, Shahid Tanveer.

Pathankot attack: Hafiz Saeed could be part of Pakistan probe team, says Shiv Sena

With the five-member Joint Investigation Team from Pakistan having reached Pathankot to begin probe into the terror attack on the Indian Air Force Base, the Shiv Sena on Tuesday slammed the Centre for ‘welcoming’ the team which also has a member from the ISI, saying that Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed could also be a part of the team and no one would know.”This is exactly what will happen in our country. Those who have come from Pakistan, be it terrorists, cricketers or artists will always get security while our people keep getting killed. Our soldiers who are dying every day at the hands of Pakistan will never get any security. Everyone knows that Pakistan in involved in the Pathankot attack, even after that the JIT team gets special treatment, then it is an insult to the nation,” Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut told ANI.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Reacting to the fact that an ISI officer was also part of the team, he added mockingly that Hafiz Saeed and Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar could come to India as part of the team and no one will ever know.”This is completely our failure that we have called them here. What will Pakistan do? They are the guilty party and they are going to investigate? The nation is laughing,” Raut added,Asserting that India has always been on the back foot when it came to Pakistan, the Shiv Sena leader said that the team’s very arrival in India was a security threat and asked if India would be allowed to go to Islamabad to carry out the same kind of probe.”Can our team go to Pakistan and probe? Will their security agencies allow India’s team to visit Kasab’s house and the terrorist camps? We have always been on the back foot when it has come to Pakistan. We make a lot of big talk but when it comes to work, we flake out,” Raut said.Meanwhile, the Pakistan team arrived at Pathankot to massive protests by the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).Chanting slogans against the Centre and holding placards saying ‘Pak JIT go back’ the protestors also waved black flags and reached the gates of the Air Base, where defence personnel were seen trying to restrain them and stop them from entering the restricted area.”First they come here and attack on our soil bleeding us and they pretend that they are trying to get justice. Congress will never stand this farce,” Harinder Kaur, a protestor told ANI.The five-member Pakistani JIT is headed by Chief of Punjab’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Muhammad Tahir Rai and comprises Lahore’s Deputy Director General, Intelligence Bureau, Mohammad Azim Arshad, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) official Lieutenant-Colonel Tanvir Ahmed, Military Intelligence official Lieutenant-Colonel Irfan Mirza and Gujaranwala CTD Investigating Officer, Shahid Tanveer.

Pathankot probe: Congress leaders in Punjab protest JIT’s visit with black flags near airbase

Pathankot: Protests erupted near the Pathankot airbase on Tuesday morning as Pakistan’s Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the terror attack on the air base headed to Pathankot town in north Punjab.

Activists of Punjab’s main opposition Congress party held the protest near a road which is to be taken by the Pakistani probe team. They carried black flags and banners.

The banners named officials of the Pakistani team, especially those from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence.

Security agencies deputed additional personnel outside the rear part of the air base following the protests to strengthen security.

Punjab opposition parties, the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), had said that they protest against the Pakistan team visit to the AFS.

The JIT members, who arrived in New Delhi on Sunday and had day-long meetings with National Investigation Agency (NIA) officers, left for Amritsar on Tuesday morning en route to Pathankot.

Tight security arrangements have been made in and around the frontier IAF base in view of the visit and likely protests against the visiting Pakistani investigation team.

Protesters holding banners at the Pathankot airbase, 29 March. IBN Live

Protesters holding banners at the Pathankot airbase, 29 March. IBN Live

Authorities at Pathankot airbase said that the visiting Pakistan probe team will be taken only to specific and limited areas within the sprawling Air Force Station (AFS) complex.

The JIT members will be kept away from the AFS’ technical area and shown only those areas where security forces engaged the Pakistani terrorists in the first week of January.

“We have, physically and visually, barricaded the airbase. Tent walls have been erected around the crime scene (shootout site) and nothing else will be visible to the JIT members. Their entry will also be through a special gate through the rear portion of the airbase,” an IAF officer told IANS.

Punjab Police DIG (deputy inspector general) Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh said that the Pakistan JIT will be taken by the NIA to the site of the gunbattle.

“The team will be provided access to the area of the encounter,” Singh said.

Informed defence sources here said the team members could also be shown the bodies of the killed terrorists kept in a government mortuary.

NIA officers will accompany the JIT members.

The JIT will not get to interact with IAF or other defence and security officials and personnel involved in the 80-hour counter-operation by security forces against the terrorists who attacked the airbase in the early hours of 2 January.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Monday in Goa that the Pakistani team would not have access to the operational area of the airbase, but only the isolated “crime scene”, which has been completely barricaded and fenced.

All the terrorists and seven security personnel were killed at the base.

The January attack on the IAF base was the second one by suspected Pakistani terrorists. A group of three Pakistani terrorists had attacked Dinanagar town in adjoining Gurdaspur district on 27 July last year, leaving seven people dead.

IANS

Pathankot terror attack – Pakistan JIT seeks no inputs, says NIA

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday said the visiting five-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) from Pakistan, which arrived here on Sunday to carry forward the probe into the Pathankot airbase terror attack, had so far demanded no inputs of investigation carried out by Indian agency. Well placed NIA sources said ANI that the JIT held talks with NIA members on the Pathankot attack investigation, and NIA also gave presentation on facts and evidences.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As far as Jaish-e-Mohammed’s (JeM) involvement in Pathankot attack was concerned, the Pakistani JIT did not deny the evidence furnished by the NIA, sources said.”The JIT will be visiting Pathankot tomorrow (on Tuesday), but we are giving them limited access to the airbase,” they said, adding that they would come by the evening, and would hold a meeting with NIA officials again on Wednesday.However, Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said he has especially denied permission to the foreign investigative team to go anywhere near the airbase. Parrikar said the Pathankot terror attack is being investigated by the NIA and it is within the purview of the NIA to give permission to the Pakistan JIT to probe the crime scene. However, Parrikar clarified that the actual place of crime, which is a non-sensitive area, has already been isolated, completely out of vision behind barricades.The JIT comprising Punjab Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) AIG Rai Tahir as convener, Intelligence Bureau Lahore Deputy Director General Azim Arshad, Lt. Col Tanvir Ahmed of the ISI, Lt, Col Irfan Mirza of MI and Gujranwala CTD Investigating Officer Shahid Tanveer is the first time that Pakistani intelligence and police officials are travelling to India to investigate a terror attack. The team will have access to all witnesses in the Pathankot terror attack, but not security personnel from the National Security Guard or the Border Security Force (BSF).India has been pressing Pakistan for tangible action on the attack by terrorists in Pathankot in January, which claimed lives of seven security personnel. All terrorists involved in the attack were killed in the gun-battle.

Pathankot probe: Pakistan JIT didn’t contradict NIA evidence, say Indian officials

New Delhi: Amid criticism of the government for allowing a Pakistani investigation team to probe the Pathankot attack, Indian investigators on Monday said the visiting officials did not “contradict” any of the evidence submitted by the NIA.

There was a detailed presentation by the National Investigation Agency to the visiting team on the evidence on Monday afternoon.

A file image of security forces on guard near the Pathankot airbase. AFPA file image of security forces on guard near the Pathankot airbase. AFP

A file image of security forces on guard near the Pathankot airbase. AFP

These evidences “prove” India’s claims that the Pathankot attack on 2 January was planned in Pakistan and had a link to the Jaish-e-Mohammed and its chief Masood Azhar, they said.

“The fact that they did not contradict or made any adverse comment or observation is a positive sign,” the sources said.

The visiting team, which arrived in India on Sunday to conduct its own probe into the Pathankot attack, will be taken to the town in Punjab on Tuesday.

ISI official Lieutenant Colonel Tanvir Ahmed and military intelligence officer Lieutenant Colonel Irfan Mirza are part of the team, the sources said.

The team will fly on Tuesday morning to Pathankot in a special BSF plane that will land away from the Pathankot airbase, official sources said.

India has said six terrorists from Pakistan-based JeM attacked the base on 2 January. All the terrorists were killed in the gun battle.

The Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party on Monday flayed the government and questioned how an ISI officer was allowed to visit India and permitted inside the airbase.

The government says the visiting probe team will be given only limited access.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said the shootout site has no contact with the airbase and has a separate entry also.

IANS

Modi has surrendered before Pakistan: Arvind Kejriwal lashes out at govt for inviting JIT to probe Pathankot attack

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of surrendering to Pakistan by allowing investigators from that country to probe the January terror attack on the Indian Air Force (IAF) base in Pathankot.

Kejriwal told the media that Pakistan had been harbouring anti-India terrorists and asked how its security and intelligence officials were being allowed to investigate something they had sponsored.

“We were saying ISI (Pakistan’s spy agency) was responsible, it was a Pakistan-sponsored terror. Has this position changed?” the Aam Aadmi Party leader told reporters. “Prime Minister Modi has surrendered before Pakistan,” he said.

Earlier on Monday,  Congress also questioned the government’s move to give Pakistan’s security and intelligence officials access to the IAF base in Pathankot.

A file photo of Arvind Kejriwal. PTIA file photo of Arvind Kejriwal. PTI

A file photo of Arvind Kejriwal. PTI

“Pakistan has provided no assurance of action. Yet their team has been allowed to investigate the Pathankot terror attack (in India),” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters.

Surjewala said Modi’s government had not been able to “differentiate between state actors and non state actors” perpetrating anti-India cross-border terror.

“Does the move (of allowing Pakistani investigators in India) imply that the Pakistan (government) has had no involvement in spreading terror in India?” Surjewala asked.

“The Prime Minister should introspect properly and answer the nation. Is there a guarantee that the team will not favour the terrorists?” he asked.

The five-member Pakistani team arrived in Delhi on Sunday to probe the 2 January terror attack at the Pathankot air base in Punjab. The team will travel to Pathankot on Monday evening and question witnesses there.

According to official sources, the Pakistani team will be given limited access to the Indian airbase where at least seven military personnel were killed after a gun and bomb attack by alleged Pakistani terrorists.

One civilian was also killed in the attack on the sprawling 2,000-acre complex that houses high-value Indian defence assets, including fighter jets. Six terrorists who had crossed over into Punjab from Pakistan were also killed.

This is the first time that New Delhi has allowed Pakistani investigators to probe a terror attack in India blamed on that country.

The access was granted as India hoped that Pakistan will bring to justice the alleged perpetrators, including Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar.

Sources said that cooperation is offered to the Pakistani team on the principle of reciprocity. India hopes that a team will be allowed to travel to Pakistan at a later date.

With inputs from IANS

Pathankot attack probe: Pakistan JIT won’t be allowed inside the Indian Air Force base or near the crime scene

India shared the evidence it has collected on the Pathankot attack with Pakistan on Monday after the two countries began formal discussions on investigations into January’s terror attack at the Indian Air Force base, making it the first-ever visit of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) — that included an ISI official — from the neighbouring country.

According to CNN-IBN, India’s National Investigating Agency showed the JIT the evidence that proves the Pakistani establishment was complicit in the attack. It also gave the phone numbers to which terrorists made calls. However, the JIT has asked permission to interrogate the commander of the IAF air base, asked for call details of the Punjab officer Salwinder Singh who was purportedly abducted by the terrorists, copies of all FIRs registered in connection with the case, and the mobile phones recovered from the terrorists.

Sources told CNN-IBN that India is unlikely to hand over the handsets.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The five-member Pakistani JIT is headed by Chief of Punjab’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Muhammad Tahir Rai and comprises Lahore’s Deputy Director General, Intelligence Bureau, Mohammad Azim Arshad, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) official Lieutenant-Colonel Tanvir Ahmed, Military Intelligence official Lieutenant-Colonel Irfan Mirza and Gujaranwala CTD Investigating Officer, Shahid Tanveer.

The team was received at the headquarters of National Investigation Agency by Inspector-General Sanjiv Kumar Singh.

The Pakistanis 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, official sources said.

The team, that arrived on Sunday, will on Tuesday visit Pathankot for the probe into the attack carried out by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror group on 2 January, which left seven security personnel dead.

The IAF base will be visually barricaded by NIA to prevent any view of critical areas.

The NIA team will however, show some of the areas where the Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists engaged in an 80-hour-long gun battle with security personnel.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar categorically said on Monday that the defence ministry had “not permitted” the visiting team into the Indian Air Force base and that the crime scene, handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), had been isolated.

Parrikar said the Defence Ministry “refused permission” to the probe team to access the airbase but added: “The crime scene has been handed over to the NIA. Who they want to bring there is their call.”

The minister said the area had been fenced and had no contact with the airbase. The probe team was not given permission to interact with any defence personnel or use any defence vehicle.

“If we don’t give (NIA) the freedom for investigation, the burden of failure will come to the defence ministry,” Parrikar added.

India plans to provide the Pakistani team access to all witnesses in the case, but not to the security personnel from National Security Guard or BSF.

The witnesses include Punjab Police Superintendent of Police Salwinder Singh, his jeweller friend Rajesh Verma, cook Madan Gopal and 17 injured persons.

Sources said that cooperation with the Pakistani team would be based on the principle of reciprocity hoping that an Indian team would be allowed to travel to Pakistan at a later date. It may be recalled that in the 26 November, 2008 Mumbai attacks case, Pakistan had sent a judicial commission to cross-examine some of the witnesses in the case.

With inputs from PTI

Why is an ISI member part of Pakistan JIT team, asks Congress

The Congress Party on Monday questioned the inclusion of an ISI officer in the Pakistan Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that is visiting India to probe the January 2016 terrorist attack on the Pathankot Air Force Base.”Pakistan has not provided a letter rogatory for the visit of the JIT team, without it there is no guarantee of prosecution. One is forced to wonder what the investigation all about is. Why is an officer of the infamous ISI of Pakistan a part of the JIT? The role of the dreaded terrorist organisation ‘Jaish-e-Mohammad, its chief Maulana Masood Azhar, his brother Abdul Rauf, who was one of the handlers of Pathankot terror attack is well-known and widely accepted. Despite this, Pakistan Government till today has taken no action either against Jaish-e-Mohammad in terms of banning it or in terms of arresting Maulana Masood Azhar or his brother or the other handler Kashif Jaan,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told the media here.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Unfettered access being provided to them (Pakistan JIT) and also red carpet welcome accorded by the Indian government. It raises serious question with regard to judicial propriety and genuine apprehensions vis–vis compromising on national security. Serious questions are also being raised about Modi government’s U-turn in terms of segregation of state and non-state actors in Pakistan, who are indulging in rampant and senseless export of terror into India on an everyday basis, causing serious and irreparable loss of civilian and military lives,” he added.Surjewala further stated that the BJP Government must need to evaluate and reflect upon and answer some of the genuine apprehensions in mind of national security experts, as also, people of the country.”Prima facie it appears to be a case of an accused investigating himself. Secondly, by allowing a Pakistani investigation team to visit and investigate. BJP Government has for the first time distinguished and therefore recognized that Pakistani establishment does not have a role in perpetuating terror in India, more so in context to Pathankot terror attack,”he said.Currently, the meeting between the National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials and a five-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) from Pakistan is currently underway at the NIA headquarter.The team would visit Pathankot on March 29.According to sources, the JIT comprises of Punjab Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) AIG Rai Tahir as convener, Intelligence Bureau Lahore Deputy Director General Azim Arshad, Lt. Col Tanvir Ahmed of the ISI, Lt, Col Irfan Mirza of MI and Gujranwala CTD Investigating Officer Shahid Tanveer.On January 2, terrorists attacked the Pathankot Air Force Station, part of the Western Air Command of the Indian Air Force.Four terrorists were killed and two security personnel were martyred in the gun battle.

Pathankot attack: Meeting between Joint Investigation Team, NIA underway

The meeting between National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials and a five-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) from Pakistan, which arrived here yesterday to probe the deadly terrorist attack on the Pathankot Air Force Base, is currently underway at the NIA headquarter.According to sources, the JIT comprises of Punjab Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) AIG Rai Tahir as convener, Intelligence Bureau Lahore Deputy Director General Azim Arshad, Lt. Col Tanvir Ahmed of the ISI, Lt, Col Irfan Mirza of MI and Gujranwala CTD Investigating Officer Shahid Tanveer.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The team would visit Pathankot on March 29.The NIA investigators are expected to seek details on arrests in Pakistan and the action it has taken on the basis of intercepted telephone call records handed over by NSA Ajit Doval to his Pakistani counterpart, Lieutenant General Nasir Janjua.This is for the first time in over two -and- a- half decades that Pakistan will be joining investigations in a terror attack, which was executed by Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militants.The Indian authorities are still working on modalities authorities. As of now, it is said that they will not go by road and will only fly to Pathankot.Reports state that the team’s movement would be restricted only to the area of the engagement between security forces and JeM terrorists.On January 2, terrorists attacked the Pathankot Air Force Station, part of the Western Air Command of the Indian Air Force.Four terrorists were killed and two security personnel were martyred in the gun battle.

Pathankot attack: Pakistan Joint Investigation Team to visit NIA headquarter today

A five-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) from Pakistan, which arrived here yesterday to probe the deadly terrorist attack on the Pathankot Air Force Base, will visit the National Investigation Agency (NIA) headquarter on Monday.According to sources, the JIT comprises of Punjab Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) AIG Rai Tahir as convener, Intelligence Bureau Lahore Deputy Director General Azim Arshad, Lt. Col Tanvir Ahmed of the ISI, Lt, Col Irfan Mirza of MI and Gujranwala CTD Investigating Officer Shahid Tanveer.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The team would visit Pathankot on March 29.The NIA investigators are expected to seek details on arrests in Pakistan and the action it has taken on the basis of intercepted telephone call records handed over by NSA Ajit Doval to his Pakistani counterpart, Lieutenant General Nasir Janjua.This is for the first time in over two ?and- a- half decades that Pakistan will be joining investigations in a terror attack, which was executed by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militants.The Indian authorities are still working on modalities authorities. As of now, it is said that they will not go by road and will only fly to Pathankot.Reports state that the team’s movement would be restricted only to the area of the engagement between security forces and JeM terrorists.On January 2, terrorists attacked the Pathankot Air Force Station, part of the Western Air Command of the Indian Air Force.Four terrorists were killed and two security personnel were martyred in the gun battle.

For the first time, Pakistan team gets visa to probe terror in India

Decks have been cleared for the Pakistani joint investigation team (JIT) to come and probe Pathankot terror attack as the all the five members of the team were granted visa on Friday.This will be the first time that Pakistani intelligence and police officials are travelling to India to investigate a terror attack.If all goes well, the move may pave the way for furthering of the dialogue between India and Pakistan that got stalled after Pathankot attack.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The five-member JIT is expected to leave for India on Sunday. The team, according to reports, is coming fully prepared with 50-point questionnaire in hand to investigate the Pathankot attack.Sources in the government said visas were cleared after the modalities under which the JIT will work were cleared together by the Indian and Pakistan governments.The Pakistani probe team is led by Punjab counter-terrorism department IG Muhammad Tahir Rai and includes Lahore deputy director general of intelligence Mohammad Azim Arshad, ISI’s Lt Col Tanvir Ahmed, Pakistan army intelligence’s Lt Col Irfan Mirza and Gujaranwala investigating officer Shahid Tanveer.The JIT will begin its work from Monday, which will also include deliberations with India’s National Investigation Agency and other officials concerned. The government has allowed restricted access to the Pakistani team at the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot.Though initially JIT’s duration of stay in India was given to be around three days, it may be extended close to a week after Pakistan conveyed that minimum 7 days would be needed for a thorough probe.”The JIT’s modus operandi and modalities have been agreed between the Pakistani and Indian authorities,” said a senior member of the JIT adding the body wants to stay there for a week to complete the probe and it has been conveyed to the Indian government.The JIT member reportedly also claimed that it would work under its own Cr PC in India and would visit the crime scene and collect evidences.It is still not clear if the JIT will be allowed to meet and take records of witnesses or will be just given their statements recorded by the NIA and Punjab Police.

Pakistan’s Pathankot visit: Communication gap between South and North Blocks, mocks Congress

Congress on Friday took potshots at Modi government, alleging a “communication gap between South Block and North Block” and expressed “sympathy” with Home Minister Rajnath Singh over his comments that he has come to know through media that Joint Investigation Team (JIT) from Pakistan is coming to India to probe Pathankot attack.”What is surprising in it. The biggest communication gap is not between Islamabad and Delhi. The biggest communication gap is between South Block and North Block. There is a hotline between Delhi and Islamabad but there is no hotline between South Block and North Block,” party spokesperson Jairam Ramesh told reporters.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ramesh said that when the Naga accord happened, the then Home Secretary was also not aware that it was going to happen.”What can I do. I want to express my sympathies with Rajnath Singh,” Ramesh said.He was reacting to Singh’s remarks that he has come to know through media that the Pakistan team is coming. Congress had previously also attacked Modi government latching on to reports that the concerned ministries were not taken in loop during key decisions related to them.The JIT will arrive in India on March 27 to carry forward its probe into the Pathankot terror, it was announced on Thursday.Asked whether the Pakistan team will be given access to the strategic airbase, the Home Minister said modalities will be worked out once they arrive in India.”Let’s wait for Sushmaji (Sushma Swaraj) to be back,” he said.The main opposition party saw “lack of coordination” in the government ahead of the arrival of the Joint Investigation Team from Pakistan. Senior party spokesman Anand Sharma told reporters that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should have ensured coordination by convening a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security before External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Pokhara in Nepal for the SAARC Foreign Ministers Meeting.The announcement had come after Swaraj’s 20-minute meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz,in Pokhara yesterday.”There is no coordination in this Cabinet”, he said adding that the Defence Minister, the Home Minister and his Minister of state are speaking in differnt voices on the issue.He was reacting to reports quoting the Home Minister that he had come to know through media that the Pakistan JIT is coming. “Home Minister is not aware of the JIT. His Minister of state is. Defence Minister is saying a different thing”.Seeking to know government’s roadmap on Pakistan, Sharma said that the Congress was not opposed to engagement with Islamabad. He, however, said that Pakistan had not fulfilled its commitments in the wake of the 26/11 terror attack. He wondered as to what understanding has been reached during the meeting of NSAs of India and Pakistan in Bangkok that convinced the Prime Minister to go to Lahore.

Pakistan expects PM Narendra Modi to visit in November

Pakistan Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi has said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit Islamabad in November this year.”Dates for the upcoming SAARC summit in Islamabad are being worked out in consultation with member states said Fatemi. The summit will probably be held in November, reports Dawn. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also expected to attend the summit,” he added.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan has proposed to host the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad in November 2016. Further, Fatemi said a five-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed to probe the January 2 terror attack on Pathankot airbase will complete its work this week. The Punjab government had last week formed the JIT to investigate the Pathankot airbase attack case, which was registered a week earlier in Gujranwala.

No info on Pathankot investigation until JIT completes work: Pakistan minister

Pakistani Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah has said that nothing about the Pathankot investigation will be made public until the joint investigation team (JIT) completes its work. According to the Dawn, Sanaullah said that a joint investigation team has been constituted to investigate the January 2 terrorist attack on India’s Pathankot airbase.Addressing a gathering of newly elected union council chairmen, who joined the Pakistan Muslim League-N on Sunday, he said enemies of Pakistan were trying to make the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project controversial.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, the government would not let this conspiracy to materialize, he added.

India to take final call on Foreign Secretary level talks on Thursday

Even after Pakistan’s move to detain JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar and forming a Joint Investigation team to act on leads given by its neighbour on the Pathankot attack, India remains undecided on going ahead with the Foreign Secretary-level talks.On Wednesday night, PM Narendra Modi met Sushma Swaraj to discuss the developing situation but a final decision was deferred till the return of NSA Ajit Doval from Paris.Earlier, MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup had said, “The decision(on FS talks) will be taken after the meeting”, referring to the meeting between Swaraj and Modi. Hectic consultations followed the detention of JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar and “several individuals” of his terror outfit suspected to be behind the Pathankot attack on January 2. However, Swarup said there has been no official confirmation on the “arrest” of Azhar.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan on Wednesday arrested Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar, his brother and “several individuals” belonging to his dreaded outfit, which is suspected to have engineered the Pathankot terror attack. It sealed JeM offices after India demanded action on the group, linking it to the fate of Foreign Secretary-level talks.Azhar’s brother Abdul Rehman Rauf has also been arrested, Geo TV said. While the arrest of several individuals was announced in a press release from the Prime Minister’s Office, there was no official word on Azhar’s detention. Officials said that Azhar, the dreaded terrorist and two other terrorists who were released from an Indian prison in 1999 in exchange for release of 155 passengers of the hijacked Indian Airlines plane, has been taken into protective custody after raids on several JeM offices.Pakistan on Wednesday set up a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) comprising security and military officials to probe whether any Pakistani individual or organisation was involved in the Pathankot terror attack in India.The JIT was set up following an order of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to ensure a thorough and fair probe by Pakistan. According to an official of the Prime Minister’s Office, the JIT would be led by Additional IG Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Punjab, Rai Tahir.With agency inputs.

Pathankot attack: Pakistan submits initial probe findings to India, says report

Pakistan on Monday submitted to India its initial findings of the investigation being conducted on alleged Pakistani links to the Pathankot terror attack, according to media reports.Pakistan in its report said that the telephone numbers given by India were not registered in Pakistan, reported the News International quoting Geo TV.According to sources, Pakistan has dispatched the initial findings to New Delhi and a response is expected from Indian authorities, report said.Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has ordered formation of a high-profile joint investigation team (JIT) to investigate the links of the Pathankot air base attackers with Pakistan, a media report said on Monday.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a pre-dawn attack on January 2, a group of heavily- armed Pakistani terrorists, suspected to be belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammed outfit, struck at the Air Force base in Pathankot. Indian intelligence reports suggested that groups and people in Pakistan planned and executed the strike.Law enforcement agencies have also picked up “some suspects” connected to Pathankot airbase attack from Bahwalapur district, the hometown of Maulana Masood Azhar, chief of banned terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed.”The intelligence agencies have picked up some suspects from Bahawalpur on the leads provided by India in Pathankot airbase attack and shifted them to undisclosed location for interrogation,” Pakistani news channel ARY News reported.In Islamabad, intelligence officials claimed raids were carried out in Gujranwala, Jhelum and Bahawalpur districts and an unspecified number of people were arrested.The decision to form the JIT, comprising officials from Intelligence Bureau (IB), Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI), was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Sharif recently, reports said.

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