LAHORE: A team of Pakistani investigators arrived in India on Sunday to look into New Delhi’s allegations that Pakistan-based militant were involved in Pathankot attack.
The Pakistani investigators, who departed for New Delhi via a special flight, will remain in India for seven days to investigate the Pathankot Airbase attack. Indian authorities issued visas for the five-man investigation team on Friday.
According to Indian media reports, the Pakistani team will have limited access to interview eye witnesses but will not be allowed to interview any security personnel.
Media reports also claim that the JIT will have restricted access to the crime scene and sensitive areas of the Pathankot airbase will be sealed.
The JIT comprising military and civil intelligence agencies and headed by chief of Punjab Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Additional IG Muhammad Tahir will have limited access to Air Force Base in Pathankot during their investigation.
The team would also have no access to SP Gurdaspur Salwindar Singh, who was abducted by militants on December 31 last year before the attack on the Pathankot Airbase near the Pakistan border.
The JIT will reach New Delhi today and is expected to start its investigation on Monday.
The announcement of the key decision to send the JIT was made in Pokhara earlier this month, where foreign ministers and foreign secretaries were gathered for the 37th Saarc Council of Ministers Meeting.
The meeting between Pakistan’s advisor on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz and Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was the first high-level meeting between the two sides after the December 25 meeting between the two prime ministers in Lahore.
“The date for the JIT visit has been decided. We talked on Pathankot also and I am happy to say that the dates of the visit of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) have been fixed. They will reach India on the night of March 27 and will begin their work on 28,” Swaraj had said.
The JIT constituted by the Punjab government will work on the basis of an FIR registered in Gujranwala on February 18 under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997.
The five-member team is led by Additional IG Counter Terrorism Department Punjab Rai Tahir. Other members include Intelligence Bureau’s Additional Director Lahore Azeem Arshad, Lt Col Tanvir Ahmad from the ISI, Lt Col Irfan Mirza from the MI, and CTD Inspector Shahid Tanvir.
After recording statements of witnesses and conducting its investigation, the JIT will submit its report to the Pakistani government.