Pathankot Airbase Attack: Pak JIT winds up probe in India

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New Delhi: The Pakistani JIT Friday concluded its six-day discussions with NIA on the probe into the Pathankot terror attack even as the visiting officials recorded statements of witnesses and collected DNA report of slain terrorists. On the proposal for an NIA team’s visit to Pakistan, the Joint Investigating Team (JIT) has welcomed it, saying mutually convenient dates will be worked out. The team was given a detailed presentation on the probe conducted so far and it was taken to the crime scene in Pathankot.

It has also been handed over some more documents which included DNA report of the four terrorists killed in the 80-hour gun battle with security forces. The Pakistani team, headed by Additional Inspector General of Police, Counter Terrorism Department, Muhammad Tahir Rai and including ISI’s Lt Col Tanvir Ahmed, began their day by recording the statements of witnesses in the case, National Investigation Agency (NIA) sources said. The team arrived in India on March 27.

They recorded statements of 16 witnesses, including Superintendent of Police-rank officer of Punjab Salwinder Singh, his jeweller-friend Rajesh Verma and cook Madan Gopal. The three were kidnapped by the Pathankot attack perpetrators belonging to the banned Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1. The Pakistani JIT had asked NIA to hand over swabs of the four terrorists, identified as Nasir Hussain (Punjab province), Abu Bakar (Gujranwala) and Umar Farooq and Abdul Qayum (both from Sindh).

However, the Indian anti-terror probe agency handed over to the visitors the DNA report of the terrorists and asked them to match those with their family members, the NIA sources said. Besides recording the statement of the three, the JIT also spoke to the caretaker of a shrine visited by Singh before he was kidnapped, policemen and residents who spotted the vehicle of the police officer after it was abandoned by the attackers. Statements of doctors who conducted the post-mortem on the bodies were also recorded.

 

India’s NIA team wants to visit Pakistan

AMRITSAR/LAHORE – Pakistan’s Joint Investigation Team on Friday ‘accepted’ a proposal from India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) to allow Indian investigators to probe the Pathankot terror attack, saying mutually convenient dates would be worked out.

“We have made a request that the Indian team should visit Pakistan to investigate the Pathankot attack. Pakistan has welcomed our move,” said Sharad Kumar, the director general of the National Investigation Agency, after the conclusion of the six-day discussions with the investigators from Pakistan.

The Pakistani officials were given a ‘detailed’ presentation on the probe conducted so far and it was taken to the ‘crime scene’ in Pathankot area in Punjab. It has also been handed over some documents which included DNA report of the four attackers killed in the 80-hour gunbattle with the Indian forces.

The Pakistani team, headed by Additional Inspector General of Counter Terrorism Police Department Muhammad Tahir Rai, started their day by recording the statements of witnesses in the case. The team arrived in India on March 27. They recorded statements of 16 witnesses, including a senior police officer.

The Pakistani officials had asked the Indian officials to hand over swabs of the four attackers, identified by the Indian officials as as Nasir Hussain, Abu Bakar, Umar Farooq and Abdul Qayum. However, India’s anti-terror probe agency handed over the DNA report of the attackers and asked them to match those with their family members.

Statements of the doctors who conducted the post-mortem on the bodies of the alleged attackers were also recorded.

 

Compared to India, our nuke prog is modest: Pak

Washington: Amidst global concerns over the safety of its nuclear weapons, Pakistan Friday claimed that its “modest” nuclear programme was accident-free, unlike that of India.

Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhary, who is in Washington to attend the Nuclear Security Summit hosted by US President Barack Obama, said that the International Atomic Energy Agency has recorded 2,734 nuclear incidents worldwide, including five in India, but “not a single accident or breach happened in Pakistan, although our programme is 40 years old”.

Pakistan has a modest nuclear programme with “full ownership of its people, essentially for its defence and not to threaten anyone,” he told reporters at the Pakistan embassy.

“Pakistan’s nuclear installations are not only secure but the world also acknowledges that they are,” he said. “Pakistan has worked very hard to ensure their security.”

“India, on the other hand, has an ambitious nuclear programme, and an equally ambitious conventional weapons programme,” he said. “We have a modest programme because we feel we have the right to defend ourselves.”

“Pakistan has short-range and long-range missiles, and the purpose behind both is to deter aggression,” he said.

He said Pakistan was working with the international community to ensure the security of its nuclear installations, which were always in safe hands. “The National Command Authority, headed by the Prime Minister, is fully in charge.”

He said the perception created in the media that Pakistan had the fastest-growing nuclear programme was wrong, and pointed that several studies showed that India had a bigger nuclear programme. (PTI)

 

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