NEW DELHI: In the first ever visit by a foreign probe team, a five-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) from Pakistan that includes an ISI official landed in Delhi on Sunday to investigate the attack at the IAF base in Pathankot carried out by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed(JeM) terror group on January 2.
The team, which was received by officials of the NIA and the Pakistan High Commission, will visit Pathankot on Tuesday.
The team is headed by the 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 Lt Col Tanvir Ahmed, Military Intelligence official Lt Col Irfan Mirza and Gujaranwala CTD Investigating Officer Shahid Tanveer.
During the 26/11 Mumbai attack case, Pakistan had sent a judicial commission to cross-examine some of the witnesses in the case.
According to officials involved in the development, the team will be going to the NIA headquarters on Monday morning, where they will be given a 90-minute presentation by the NIA team about the probe conducted so far and evidence that show that the terror attack was planned from across the border in Pakistan, official sources said. Seven security personnel were killed in the attack. In the post-lunch session, the Pakistani team will raise questions to NIA investigators to clear doubts, if any, before they fly to Pathankot in a special plane on Tuesday morning, the sources said. The IAF airbase will be visually barricaded by the NIA to prevent the viewing of its critical areas. The NIA team will also take the probe team members to areas where the Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists were engaged in an 80-hour-long gun battle with security personnel.
India plans to provide the probe team from Pakistan access to all witnesses in the Pathankot terror attack case except security personnel from the National Security Guard and the BSF. The witnesses include Punjab Superintendent of Police Salwinder Singh, his jeweller friend Rajesh Verma, cook Madan Gopal and 17 injured people.
The cooperation extended to the Pakistani team will be based on reciprocity hoping that an Indian team would be allowed to travel to Pakistan at a later date. The Pakistani side will be asked about some details that India had sought from them including some phone numbers, persons involved which includes a brother of Jaish chief Masood Azhar.