Pathankot JIT to be in India on 27th: Swaraj

Published March 18, 2016
Pokhara (Nepal): Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz and India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj shake hands after the former gave her the invitation for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Saarc summit.—AP
Pokhara (Nepal): Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz and India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj shake hands after the former gave her the invitation for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Saarc summit.—AP

NEW DELHI: An investigation team from Pakistan will visit India to carry out inquiries over the Pathankot attack on March 27, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj announced after a meeting with her counterpart Sartaj Aziz in Nepal on Thursday, Indian newspapers said.

“Obviously if we have met, the Pathankot attack was discussed, and I am happy to ann­ounce that the joint investigation team would arrive in India on March 27, and will begin their work on March 28,” The Hindu news­paper quoted Ms Swaraj as telling reporters.

Officials said the two leaders had also talk­­ed about arrests made by Pakistan in the att­ack where seven Indian security personnel were killed, including a discussion on JeM chief Masood Azhar, who has been in detention since Jan 14, according to Pakistani officials.

The paper said the meeting between Ms Swaraj and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s foreign affairs adviser was held on the sidelines of the Saarc ministerial meeting in the town of Pokhara, and marked the first face-to-face meeting at the ministerial level between the two countries since the Jan 2 terrorist strike by suspected JeM militants on the air force base in Pathankot.


Aziz hands over Saarc invitation for Modi


It also comes two weeks before a possible meeting between Mr Modi and Mr Sharif in Washington, where they will both attend the Nuclear Security Summit. While not confirming a “structured meeting”, Mr Aziz told reporters that he was ‘hopeful’ of a meeting between the two prime ministers.

Ms Swaraj accepted an invitation for Prime Minister Modi to attend the Saarc summit to be held in Pakistan on Nov 9 and 10 this year.

Foreign secretaries of both countries, whose meeting to restart the comprehensive bilateral dialogue in January was derailed by the Pathankot attack, are also due to meet in Washington, The Hindu quoted sources as saying.

Agencies add: Sartaj Aziz said Thursday’s meeting with Ms Swaraj was held in a “very good atmosphere”.

“The way in which Pathankot issues have been handled, the way the operation was done and now the joint investigation team going there... I think the cooperation on this subject will give some good results,” he said.

Published in Dawn, March 18th, 2016

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