Pakistan seeks to clear air on JIT’s visit to Pathankot
Pakistan on Wednesday sought to clear the air over media reports that its Joint Investigation Team (JIT) had described the Pathankot attack as a “drama”, saying it had adopted a cooperative approach to fight terrorism.
A statement issued by Pakistan’s foreign office late on Wednesday night made no mention of the controversy created by media reports on the JIT’s purported findings after a visit to India but appeared to be aimed at addressing misgivings created by them.
Except for noting that witnesses belong to the Indian security forces were not produced before the JIT, the statement did not give other indications that Indian authorities had not cooperated with the team.
The statement said the JIT, during its visit to India from March 27 to April 1, was given a presentation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) regarding its investigations into the attack. It also visited the crime scene and recorded the statements of “some witnesses”.
“However, the witnesses belonging to the Indian security forces were not produced before it,” the statement said.
The JIT also briefed the NIA on the progress of investigations in Pakistan.
“Further investigations are underway,” it said without giving details.
“The visit of the JIT to India took place in the context of the cooperative approach being pursued by the government of Pakistan as part of its commitment to effectively fight terrorism in all its forms,” the statement said.
India had reacted angrily to the Pakistani media reports on the JIT’s purported findings, with authorities saying they had a solid case linking Jaish-e-Mohammed and its chief Masood Azhar to the January 2 attack that killed seven security personnel.
Officials also said the evidence gathered by the NIA could stand international judicial scrutiny, including of Pakistan.