With a five-member team from Pakistan investigating the 2 January, 2016, attack on the Indian Air Force base at Pathankot, there have been strong reactions on both sides of the border. Several political parties in India have criticised the NDA government for letting a Pakistani team conduct investigations, while across the border, the media has criticised New Delhi for its half-hearted approach, and not giving the investigators unrestricted access to all evidence.
Here's a selection of responses from various political parties:
Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi chief minister
We are saying that the Pathankot terror attack was Pakistan-sponsored. If it was a Pakistan-sponsored attack, how can ISI probe against itself? India is the major victim of the terror attacks, but the masterminds, who are actual players, are sitting in Pakistan. Instead of ISI and Pakistan Army coming here, Indian’s probe agency RAW and Indian Army should have gone to Pakistan. Hafiz Saeed is not in India, but in Pakistan.
The Modi government has completely surrendered to Pakistan and we don’t know what is the reason. Prime Minister Narendra Modi should give an answer to the people of this country as to why he has surrendered.
Kapil Mishra, Aam Aadmi Party leader:
For the first time in 35 years, we are saying that ISI was not supporting terrorism. The same people who have killed our people have come here. This is so shameful and disgusting. This is an insult to mother India. We will not let Modi government to do this. Instead of allowing Pakistan's investigation team to visit India to probe the Pathankot attacks, Indian security agencies should have been sent to Pakistan to investigate the role of 'masterminds' enjoying the hospitality of the Pakistan government.
Manish Tewari, Congress leader:
Pakistan never gave access to Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi or the other 26/11 accused. On what basis of reciprocity is access being given? So there is an abject surrender of India’s national interest.
Also, nothing is going to come from the meeting between Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington on April. Nothing had come out of the earlier meetings, nothing came out in UFA, nothing came out of the Lahore visit, which God alone knows why the Prime Minister undertook, and nothing is going to come out of Washington either.
Omar Abdullah, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister:
There will be a controversy (on the Pakistan JIT’s visit) because unfortunately BJP did the same (opposed normalisation of ties with Pakistan) during its time (in opposition) and today they are bearing the brunt. Only time will tell whether the team from Pakistan visiting Pathankot will benefit us or not, but now that they have come, we expect it will benefit us in a way that those responsible for the attack would be arrested and given harsh punishment. But the way the Pakistani team came to probe the Pathankot attack and was allowed to do so, Indian teams should also be allowed to (investigate) the 26/11 and other such attacks.
Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena leader:
Our team actually needs to be sent to Pakistan to investigate the role of Hafiz Saeed and Azhar Masood in terror strikes in our country. But will we get permission? We need to remember we are not culprits, but Pakistan is. On top of that, we have also provided high security to the Pakistani team. Who are they scared of? The entire matter is laughable. Hafiz Saeed has publicly acknowledged that he was behind the attacks. But our country has laid down the red carpet for them. India has been on the back foot as far as Pakistan is concerned.
Amit Shah, BJP president:
First, let me make one thing clear, the Pakistan team which has come related to the probe, has limited access to periphery. They will not enter the air base nor will they interact with officials of the Army. They will investigate other things. I agree that for the first time, Pakistan has made a serious effort towards investigation. The results will be known after the investigation gets over.
Daily Times, Pakistan newspaper:
Sketches of the attackers, footage of the closed-circuit television, duty registers of the Border Security Force (BSF), details of the bank accounts, service records, post-mortem report of the driver who died in the car accident at the time of the incident and the FIR of that car’s snatching have not been given to the Pakistani investigation team. Also, the stances of the Indian government and the BSF on the attack contradict each other. According to the government, the terrorists who attacked the base infiltrated into India from Pakistan from the border near the Beas River. However, the BSF was of the view that nobody crossed the border from the Beas area as mentioned by the government.
With agency inputs