A Pakistani joint investigation team (JIT) will first meet officials from the National Investigative Agency (NIA) before being flown to the Pathankot airbase when it arrives in India to investigate the January attack.
“The Pakistani probe will cross over to India from Wagah border on March 27 and then will be flown to Delhi first for discussions with the NIA officials probing the case here. They will taken to the airbase on March 29,” said a senior government official involved in the preparation of the visit on the condition of anonymity.
The five-member JIT has been granted a 15-day Indian visa as per standard practice, but an NIA official said the team may return on March 30.
“Our discussions with the Pakistan team will depend on the seriousness of approach shown by them. If we get the sense during our interactions that Pakistan is serious about taking forward (the) investigation, we will also be transparent in our dealings,” said the official.
India is likely to ask for a letter rogatory, a court approved request for assistance in the probe from Pakistan so the NIA may formally share evidence.
“Without a court approved request... the status of interactions between the Pakistan team and NIA officials will remain informal. Any formal interaction of sharing evidence cannot happen without a court mandated request, like the one sent by NIA to Pakistan,” said a government official involved in the matter.
The NIA is also planning to host a formal media briefing on all three days the Pakistani JIT team is expected to be here, sources added.
The decision to allow the Pakistani investigative team was taken at a high-level meeting in the Prime Minister’s Office on March 19.