India to Insist on Written Commitment from Pak on NIA Visit
India may insist on a written commitment for the visit of a NIA team to Pakistan to probe the terror attack in Pathankot airbase, following indications that it may not be averse to such a visit.
Official sources said the Home Ministry will ask the External Affairs Ministry to seek a written commitment from Pakistan on the National Investigation Agency team’s visit whenever the next bilateral engagement takes place.
Investigators have found that Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar, his brother Abdul Rauf and two other individuals – Kasif Jaan and Shahid Latif – were the main conspirators of the 2 January attack on the airbase at Pathankot.
Sources said so far there have been no indications of an “insider hand” in the Pathankot incident and it was planned and executed solely by Pakistan-based JeM.
The Pakistani Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, indicated on Monday that his country may consider such a request. On whether the NIA team will be allowed to visit Pakistan in connection with Pathankot attack probe, Aziz said:
Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju said on Monday that the government was hopeful that a team of NIA will soon visit Pakistan to gather evidence in connection with the Pathankot terror attack. “We are hopeful that a team of NIA will visit Pakistan soon,” he said.
Pakistani High Commissioner, Abdul Basit, had indicated a fortnight ago that Indian investigators may not be allowed to visit Pakistan to pursue the probe in connection with the Pathankot attack.
However, India countered it by saying that before the visit of a Pakistani Joint Investigation Team to India in March, both sides had agreed that it would be on the basis of reciprocity.