The Opposition on Monday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of surrendering to Pakistan by allowing investigators from that country to probe the January 2 terror attack on an Indian Air Force base in Pathankot.
Questioning the government’s move to give Pakistan’s security and intelligence officials access to the strategic facility, the Congress said: “Pakistan has provided no assurance of action. Yet their team has been allowed to investigate the Pathankot terror attack (in India).”
The Centre has not been able to “differentiate between state actors and non state actors” perpetrating anti-India cross-border terror”, spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters.
A five-member Pakistani team is in India to investigate the attack blamed on terrorists from across the border.
Any lead picked up by the team during the “goodwill visit”will not be of any legal use in the absence of Letter Rogatory, a request from a court to a foreign court for any judicial assistance.
This is the first time a Pakistan team is examining witnesses in a case in India. This is also the first time an official of Pakistan’s spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), is part of such a high-profile team that has India’s nod.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal told the media that Pakistan was harbouring terrorism against India.
“We were saying ISI (Pakistan’s spy agency) was responsible, it was a Pakistan-sponsored terror. Has this position changed?” the Aam Aadmi Party leader said.
“Prime Minister Modi has surrendered before Pakistan,” he said.
While the Pakistani team will examine three witnesses in the case, it will not be able to question soldiers from the National Security Guard and the Border Security Force, and commandos of Indian Air Force’s Garud division.
The team will visit only those areas of Pathankot airbase in Punjab where militants were engaged in an 80-hour gun battle that left seven soldiers and all the terrorists dead. .
Defence minister Manohar Parrikar said the “crime scene” at the Pathankot airbase has been handed over to the anti-terror National Investigation Agency, which will decide whether or not to give access to the Pakistani probe team.
He said the defence ministry did not give permission to to enter the airbase. Parrikar said the “crime scene”, a “non-sensitive” area, has been completely barricaded on his orders.