NEW DELHI: It was six hours of silence for Pakistan’s joint investigation team (JIT) when National Investigation Agency (NIA) sleuths on Monday showed them clinching evidence of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed’s involvement in the terror attack on the Pathankot airbase.
On Tuesday, the NIA will accompany the Pakistan team to different locations linked to the Pathankot case but the latter will only have limited access.
The five-member JIT led by Punjab Counter Terrorism Department additional IG Muhammad Tahir Rai was told during the detailed presentation at the NIA headquarters here on how Jaish terrorists were dropped from the Pakistan side across Bamiyal village in India in two SUVs.
The NIA officials also shared evidence that clearly established Jaish chief Maulana Masood Azhar and his brother Muhammed Rauf Asghar’s involvement in the Pathankot attack. India has sought voice samples of Rauf Asghar, who is reported to have claimed responsibility for the terror attack on a propaganda website.
“The Pakistan team did not contradict our findings, which shows that we are moving in a positive direction,” a senior officer said.
Sources said the NIA also shared call intercepts between terrorists and their Pakistan-based handlers such as Qasim Jaan, Hafiz Abdul Shakoor and Ashfaq Ahmed.
The Indian agency also gave DNA samples of the terrorists killed during the anti-terror operation, statements of witnesses and FIR to the Pakistani team.
Now, the Pakistani investigators will be flown to Pathankot on Tuesday morning where the NIA will show them the exact route the terrorists had taken to reach the airbase.
The Pakistan officials will be taken to the sites inside the airbase where the terrorists were cornered and killed. Sources said the area of engagement about 300 X 250 m had been cordoned off by a canvas canopy to keep the technical area of the airbase visually barricaded.
“We hope Pakistan will reciprocate when the NIA visits the neighbouring country to gather more evidence and will be allowed similar access. As bulk of evidence is in Pakistan, it is important to have all the details to ensure the prosecution of those involved. The NIA is likely to seek access to the handlers and witnesses, including the family members of the terrorists killed in Pathankot,” a source said.
All Possible aid to jadhav: Govt
New Delhi: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said the External Affairs Ministry had been asked to extend all possible help to former Navy official Kulbhushan Jadhav, arrested by Pakistan, which claimed he was a RAW operative. “We do agree, to the extent I know, that he is an Indian citizen and we have asked for consular access,” Parrikar said, adding he was concerned since he is a veteran.