ISLAMABAD: A five-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the Pathankot air base attack arrived in New Delhi on Sunday, Radio Pakistan reported.

The team earlier departed from the Wagah Border, official sources confirmed, and will be joined by another official in New Delhi.

After holding a meeting with the Pakistan High Commissioner in New Delhi, they will depart for Pathankot, the sources said.

A five-member JIT was constituted by the Punjab government in February, a week after a First-Information Report (FIR) was filed by the Punjab Counter-Terrorism Department against the Pathankot attackers at a Gujranwala police station.

The JIT comprises Punjab Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Additional Inspector General of Police (IGP) Muhammad Tahir Rai (convener), Lahore Deputy Director General (DDG) Intelligence Bureau Mohammad Azim Arshad, Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt-Col Tanvir Ahmed, Military Intelligence Lt-Col Irfan Mirza and Gujranwala CTD Investigating Officer Shahid Tanveer (members).

Indian media reports claim Lt-Col Tanvir Ahmed will become the first ISI officer to visit an Indian military facility with official permission.

HindustanTimes reported that the team will receive limited access to the Pathankot airbase, and will be allowed to examine three witnesses.

The Pathankot air base attack occurred just days after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a 'surprise' visit to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on his birthday and the occasion of his granddaughter's wedding ─ a move that appeared to promise better relations between the neighbouring countries in the coming year.

After Modi's visit, the Pakistani and Indian foreign secretaries were scheduled to meet to discuss modalities regarding the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue agreed upon during Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj's visit to Islamabad for the Heart of Asia conference in December.

The dialogue was to take on matters related to peace and security, Jammu and Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, Wullar Barrage, Tulbul Navigation Project, economic and commercial cooperation, counter-terrorism, narcotics control and humanitarian issues, people to people exchanges and religious tourism.

However, the meeting between the foreign secretaries is yet to take place.

Earlier this month, Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, after a meeting with Sushma Swaraj, had said an investigation team from Pakistan would visit India to probe the Pathankot air base attack on March 27.

The visit of the Pathankot JIT comes just days before a possible meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington.

India media reports claim the foreign secretaries of both countries, whose meeting to restart the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue (CBD) in January was derailed by the Pathankot attack, are due to meet in Washington.



Walking a tightrope
29 May, 2022

Walking a tightrope

The prime minister should be ready to take strict measures where necessary.
29 May, 2022

Twisted notions

THERE is a sickening sense of déjà vu about the crime and, even worse, the certainty that this will not be the ...
29 May, 2022

Hockey disappointment

IN the space of about two hours, the disappointment of a narrow 3-2 loss to Japan turned into sheer anguish for the...
Updated 28 May, 2022

POL price shock

The state must look into exactly how much of an impact POL hikes have had on the prices of everyday items.
28 May, 2022

Changed laws

THERE will be much noise made over bills passed in the last two days by parliament to amend election and National...
28 May, 2022

Causing damage

FORMER prime minister Imran Khan’s remarks that he called off his protest, not because he had reached a deal but...