Pakistan SIT might want to question Gurdaspur SP in Pathankot case
A Pakistani team probing the attack in Pathankot might seek to question a top Punjab police official who was allegedly abducted and let-off by the group of militants involved in the strike at IAF airbase.Updated: Mar 04, 2016, 21:00 IST
A Pakistani team probing the attack on the Pathankot airbase might seek to question a top Punjab police official who was allegedly abducted and let-off by the group of militants involved in the strike at the defence installation.
Seven Indian security personnel and six militants, believed to be from the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), were killed during the 84-hour siege of the airbase in January.
After New Delhi shared with Islamabad a set of phone numbers allegedly used by the militants, Pakistan proposed to send a special investigation team (SIT) to India.
Besides questioning the Gurdaspur superintendent of police Salvinder Singh, the SIT may also seek access to the airbase, this writer learnt during a recent visit to Islamabad.
The police official was interrogated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) several times after doubts were raised about the sequence of events he narrated on his abduction and release.
India has agreed to receive the SIT on a five-day notice before its arrival.
“They have to prove their bona fide by arriving for investigation against the real culprits,” a top official in New Delhi told Hindustan Times.
Islamabad recently registered an FIR on the basis of the telephone numbers shared by India.
Pakistan foreign minister Sartaz Aziz confirmed that one of the numbers was traced to the JeM whose leader Masood Azhar is in custody in Pakistan.
Pakistan’s interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan stated at a press conference on February 21 that the probe in his country focused on finding linkages, if any, between telephone numbers and names informally furnished by India of individuals suspected of planning the attack.
“The FIR mentions phone numbers provided by India. We will see if there is any linkage between the phone numbers and persons (informally) named by India as also those we detained at our end in connection with the attack,” the minister said.
New Delhi expects the Pak probe team to name organisations and individuals against whom it needed further evidence.
“We are satisfied with the sections of law they have invoked in the FIR. We expect them to specify during their visit here the names (of individuals and organisations) that have come up in their probe,” the Indian official said.
He said the SIT has sufficient material to proceed against those involved in the attack.
“We are ready to help them strengthen their case by furnishing affidavits (detailing the Indian probe), photographs, DNA test and finger print reports of terrorists who attacked the airbase.”
Once trusts develops with exchange of credible information, a foolproof case tenable in their courts could be jointly built by allowing cross-examination of Indian witnesses through video-conferencing with the caveat that the court proceedings are not closed door, said the official.
Indian investigators have sent a letter rogatory seeking judicial assistance in obtaining certain information from Pakistan. A letter rogatory is a request from a court to a foreign court.