In a historic event after the allowing the visit of Pakistani officials, India and Pakistan recently began formal discussions on investigations into the terror attack at the Pathankot IAF base.
The five-member Joint Investigative team (JIT), headed by Pakistan’s chief of Punjab's Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Muhammad Tahir Rai, also comprising 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, ShahidTanveer.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) who has been probing the terrorist attack has given a detailed presentation to the visiting Pakistani team on the evidence collected on the attack by the agency.
Evidence indicated involvement of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militants in the Pathankot airbase attack, the JIT was also shown phone numbers and call intercepts from Pakistan during the attack to prove that it originated there. The Indian investigators also claim one Kashif Jaan as the main handler of the Pakistani terrorists, who were in touch with him as they launched the assault in Pathankot.
Weapons such as AK-47s and pistols, binoculars, GPS device, grenades, medicines, clothes, food packets, dates and dry fruits, wire-cutters, and shoes which either had a 'Made in Pakistan' marking or were procured from there which the officials could not deny.
The Indian Defence Minister Manohar said he has not especially allowed permission to the foreign investigative team to go anywhere nearing the airbase nor will they be allowed to get in touch with security personnel from National Security Guard or BSF.
However, India will extend full support to the Pakistani team to interact with all witnesses in the case which includes Punjab Police Superintendent of Police Salwinder Singh, his jeweller friend Rajesh Verma, cook Madan Gopal and 17 injured persons.
The team will be back to have meeting with the NIA before leaving for Pakistan. Even the India NIA also to make a return visit to Pakistan to probe the role of JEM chief Maulana Masood Azhar and his brother Abul Rauf's involvement in the Pathankot attack.