Amid protest by the opposition parties – Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) — five-member Pakistani Joint Investigation Team (JIT) on Tuesday visited the “sanitised” areas at Pathankot airforce base in connection with probe into the January 2 terror attack. They were accompanied by the Indian officials.
Officials said the JIT visited the sanitised areas of the IAF base where the attackers had sneaked into leading to the over 80-hour gun battle that left at least four terrorists and seven security personnel.
Meanwhile, the Congress and AAP workers held a separate protest near the Pathankot airbase soon as the Pakistan JIT arrived. The two accused the BJP-led government of hurting the sentiments of Indians by allowing Pakistan team to probe terror attack on Indian soil.
Slamming the move, Congress party said that according an almost “red carpet welcome” to Pakistan’s JIT raised serious questions on procedural propriety in relation to compromise on national security and likened it to an accused investigating himself.
Not staying behind in their protest, AAP, BJP’s bitter rival in Delhi termed allowing the Pakistani JIT to visit to the air base as “shameful and disgusting”.
“For the first time in 35 years, we are saying that ISI was not supporting terrorism… the same people who have killed our people have come here…this is so shameful and disgusting,” Kapil Mishra, a minister in AAP-run Delhi government said.
The Pakistani team includes ISI’s Lt Col rank officer Tanvir Ahmed, Lahore’s Deputy Director General Intelligence Bureau Mohammad Azim Arshad, Military Intelligence Lt Col Irfan Mirza and Gujaranwala CTD Investigating Officer Shahid Tanver.
Meanwhile, the BJP-led central government has been maintaining that the Pakistani team will only have a “restricted” access to the air base with the NIA taking them to select areas. Coloured tarpaulins were draped before the interiors of the strategic facility.
Under attack, the ruling party claimed that Pakistan has for the first time made “serious efforts” towards investigating a terror case.
“First let me make clear one thing, that the Pakistan team which has come related to the probe, has a limited access to periphery. They will not enter the air base nor will they interact with the officials of the Army. They will investigate other things,” BJP chief Amit Shah said in Kolkata.
“I agree that for the first time Pakistan has made serious efforts towards investigation. The results will be known after the investigation gets over,” he further added.
(With inputs from the PTI)