A Pakistani team investigating the Pathankot attack inspected select parts of the sensitive air base on Tuesday amid violent protests by Congress and Aam Aadmi Party workers in the north Punjab town.
The five-member joint investigation team entered the air base from a specially made gate at the rear end of the compound and left after a few hours.
“I think for the first time Pakistan has made a serious effort towards investigation,” BJP chief Amit Shah told reporters.
Outside the base, protesters chanted slogans against the Centre and held placards saying “Pak JIT go back”. They waved black flags and reached the gates of the air base, where defence personnel were seen trying to restrain them and stop them from entering the restricted area.
The team is in India to prove alleged involvement of Pakistani militants in January’s ambush at the sensitive air base that left seven soldiers dead. This is the first time that Pakistani intelligence and police officials are traveling to India to investigate a terror attack case.
Defence minister Manohar Parrikar has said the team will be given limited access to the air base. The investigators are expected to be shown the infiltration points and the terrorists’ route from the border to the airbase.
India is also likely to allow the JIT to talk to the witnesses and the injured, including superintendent of police Salwinder Singh, his friend Rajesh Verma, and the cook, who claimed that the terrorists had kidnapped them.
On Monday, the National Investigation Agency gave a detailed presentation to the visiting Pakistani team on the evidence collected in the case. The JIT also furnished a legal mandate to gather evidence in India.
As far as Jaish-e-Mohammed’s (JeM) involvement in Pathankot attack was concerned, the Pakistani JIT did not deny the evidence furnished by the NIA, sources said.
The Indian Air Force visually barricaded key locations in the air base as it doesn’t want the Pakistani team to have full view of the area.