Pathankot: Pak Edgy as JIT Got Unexpected Cooperation, Sources Say
What if India is not allowed to access the witnesses in Pakistan in the Pathankot terror attack?
Pakistan High Commissioner to India, Abdul Basit, created a stir when he said “the whole investigation is not about the question of reciprocity.” It raised questions on Pakistan’s intent to cooperate in the Pathankot terror attack investigation. Will the probe reach a dead-end if the NIA is not given access to witnesses in Pakistan?
According to sources in the security forces, it is essential that investigators get access to witnesses in Pakistan – family members of the slain terrorists, JeM chief Masood Azhar and other JeM handlers – to connect the missing links.
Souces also say the Pakistan Joint Investigation Team (JIT) wasn’t expecting full cooperation from India. By allowing the JIT to visit the Pathankot Air Base, India showed that it was serious about bringing the probe to a logical conclusion.
India’s cooperation is hanging like an albatross around Pakistan’s neck. Now they don’t know which way to head as the whole world is watching them. We cooperated with them. Now if they shy away by not letting us question witnesses in Pakistan, they might become a subject of relentless criticism.Official, Security Forces
The NIA provided all relevant evidence to the Pakistan JIT. They were also allowed to question all witnesses except for those in the security forces.
We do expect Pakistan to get back to us after conducting further investigation. The evidence we provided was very strong and certainly they will take time to complete their investigation.Official, Security Officers
On Thursday, the Pakistan High Commissioner, Basit, ruled out the possibility of allowing the NIA to visit Pakistan. The MEA, in a strongly-worded response, said,
Before the visit of the JIT, the Indian High Commission formally conveyed to the Pakistan Foreign Ministry that the Terms of Reference are broadly agreed to with the proviso that these would be on the basis of reciprocity.Official, Security Forces
Hours after Basit’s statement that India and Pakistan peace talks are suspended, the Pakistan foreign office spokesman Mohammed Nafees Zakaria said that the foreign secretaries of both the countries were in touch and modalities will be worked out. This clearly exposed the internal tussle in Pakistan between the government and the Pakistan Army. Now all eyes are on how PM Nawaz Sharif handles the in-fighting in Pakistan.
If or not Pakistan cooperates agreaably with India will determine the fate of the Pathankot investigation. A question that needs to be raised time again – will it suffer a similar fate as the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack investigations, or will Pakistan truly assist India in punishing the perpetrators?
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