Pakistan media accuses India of being 'reluctant to cooperate' as JIT arrives in Pathankot
Pakistani media has said that India is reluctant to cooperate with Pakistan on the probe into the Pathankot terror attack.
As the Pakistan Joint Investigation Team (JIT) arrived in Pathankot on Tuesday to probe the terror attack, which took place in January resulting in the death of seven military personnel, the Pakistani media said that India was reluctant to cooperate with Pakistan on the probe.
According to this report by Pakistani news channel Dunya News, Indian authorities showed "signs of reluctance" when the JIT asked them for information and evidence.
The report said that Indian authorities did not provide the JIT with any evidence when it asked for the recordings of the telephone calls of SP Salwinder Singh, his wife and other related persons and the IME numbers and copies of the three FIRs that had been filed after the attack.
"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," said another report in Pakistani newspaper Daily Times.
The report further said that post-mortem and DNA reports of the terrorists involved and phone records and information about the commander of Pathankot airbase had not been given to the JIT.
The Dunya News report further claimed that the stances of the Indian government and BSF regarding the terror attack were contradicting each other.
Moreover, the report said that while Indian authorities had said that terrorists had entered the Pathankot airbase after climbing ten-feet walls, no ropes were found as evidence.
These claims by the Pakistani media come just a day after it was found that Pakistan's electronic media regulatory body (PEMRA) on Sunday had released a statement for the Pakistani media, asking them to be "professional" and "responsible" when reporting on the Lahore attacks, unlike the Indian media.
"Pakistan needs to follow the example of professional handling of Brussels attacks by international media rather than following the footsteps of Indian media that is driven by crass commercialisation," the statement had said.
JIT did not contradict NIA evidence
In fact, the Pakistani media's claim that India was not cooperating with Pakistan also comes at a time when the JIT and Indian authorities agreed on a very crucial aspect of the probe.
Indian investigators on Monday had said that the visiting JIT officials did not "contradict" any of the evidence submitted by the NIA, according to IANS.
This evidence also "proves" India's claims that the Pathankot attack on 2 January was planned in Pakistan and had a link to the Jaish-e-Mohammed and its chief Masood Azhar, the investigators had said.
"The fact that they did not contradict or made any adverse comment or observation is a positive sign," the authorities had said.
Protests against the JIT visiting Pathankot
It is not just the Pakistani media though, which has had a sceptical perspective towards this probe. Opposition parties like AAP and Congress have accused the Modi government of "surrendering" to Pakistan.
"We are saying that Pathankot terror attack was Pakistan-sponsored. If it was Pakistan-sponsored attack, how can ISI probe against itself?" Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said on Monday.
"By allowing an official Pakistani team to visit and investigate, BJP government has, for the first time, distinguished and, therefore, recognised that the Pakistani establishment does not have any role in perpetuating terror in India, more so in the context of Pathankot terror attack," Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala had said.
Congress workers on Tuesday were even protesting with black flags outside the Pathankot airbase, shouting "Bharat Mata ki Jai".
Limited access to the JIT
These protests against the JIT took place despite Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar saying on Monday that the defence ministry had "not permitted" the visiting team into the Indian Air Force base and that the crime scene, handed over to the NIA, had been isolated.
The IAF base will be visually barricaded by NIA to prevent any view of critical areas.
The NIA team will, however, show some of the areas to the JIT where the Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists engaged in an 80-hour-long gun battle with security personnel.
The five-member Pakistani JIT is headed by Chief of Punjab's Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Muhammad Tahir Rai and comprises Lahore's Deputy Director General, Intelligence Bureau, Mohammad Azim Arshad, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) official Lieutenant-Colonel Tanvir Ahmed, Military Intelligence official Lieutenant-Colonel Irfan Mirza and Gujaranwala CTD Investigating Officer, Shahid Tanveer.
(With agency inputs)
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