Pathankot: Pak Team Begins Meetings Amid Protests Over Their Visit

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Pakistan's probe team will travel to Pathankot tomorrow to inquire into January terror attack


New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. In a first, Pakistani officials come to India to probe a terror attack
  2. Five-member joint investigation team to probe Pathankot terror attack
  3. Six Pakistani terrorists attacked the strategic airbase on January 2
A Pakistani team including officials of its Inter-Services Intelligence or ISI held discussions with Indian investigators in Delhi today on the Pathankot terror attack as the government faced an all-out attack by parties like the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party for agreeing to the unprecedented visit.

Indian government sources say the five-member Joint Investigation Team, during talks with National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials, did not contradict the agency's conclusion that the Jaish-e-Mohammed is responsible for the attack.

The NIA has said that it has established the identities of the six terrorists who attacked the Pathankot air force base on January 2 and also their handlers in Pakistan.

Tomorrow, the Pakistani probe team will visit Pathankot and "retrace the route of the terrorists" from the border, say sources.

Responding to opposition criticism, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said the Pakistani team would not be allowed to go anywhere in the strategic air base which has fighter planes and attack helicopters.

"However, an area where the actual crime had taken place had been handed over to NIA long back which is conducting the entire investigation. Who will be taken there, who will probe, is their prerogative," Mr Parrikar said.

Attacking the government, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said: "By inviting the ISI the Modi government has kneeled down before Pakistan and insulted martyrs. The people of India will not tolerate this."

Mr Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) protested outside the Delhi assembly and also raised banners of "Go back ISIS" in the house.

The Congress accused the government of rolling out the "red carpet" for the ISI.

The Pakistanis have reportedly come with a long list of demands that includes access to security personnel from the National Security Guard and the Garuda force who witnessed the attack, even though the government has made it clear it will not be possible.

The Pakistani team has also asked for the bank account details of a Punjab police officer who says he was kidnapped by the six terrorists who attacked the Pathankot air force base on January 2.


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