Congress questions Pathankot probe in India by Pakistan

New Delhi, March 28 (IANS) The Congress on Monday questioned the government’s move to give Pakistan’s security and intelligence officials access to the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot to probe the January terror attack.

“Pakistan has provided no assurance of action. Yet their team has been allowed to investigate the Pathankot terror attack (in India),” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters.

Surjewala said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government had not been able to “differentiate between state actors and non state actors” perpetrating anti-India cross-border terror.

“Does the move (of allowing Pakistani investigators in India) imply that the Pakistan (government) has had no involvement in spreading terror in India?” Surjewala asked.

“The prime minister should introspect properly and answer the nation. Is there a guarantee that the team will not favour the terrorists,” he said.

Surjewala also questioned the possible outcome of the Pakistani investigation.

“How will the investigation be undertaken? Will the terrorists be handed over to the Indian government or will the cases against them be proceeded in Pakistani courts?”

The five-member Pakistani team arrived here on Sunday to probe the January 2 terror attack at the Pathankot air base in Punjab. The team will travel to Pathankot on Monday evening and question witnesses there.

According to official sources, the Pakistani team will be given limited access to the Indian airbase where at least seven military personnel were killed after a gun and bomb attack by alleged Pakistani terrorists.

One civilian was also killed in the attack on the sprawling 2,000-acre complex that houses high-value Indian defence assets, including fighter jets. Six terrorists who had crossed over into Punjab from Pakistan were also killed.

This is for the first time New Delhi has allowed Pakistani investigators to probe a terror attack in India blamed on that country.

The access was granted as India hoped that Pakistan will bring to justice the alleged perpetrators, including Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar.

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