Pathankot: Pak JIT begins probe amid protests

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Pathankot (Punjab, India), Mar. 29 (ANI): The Pakistan Joint Investigation Team which arrived here today at the Pathankot Air Base begun the probe into the deadly terror attack by visiting the site of the incident, accompanied by Indian officials and security personnel.

The team is visiting the areas that have been sanitised by the Indian Air Force post the attack on the Base.

However, the team will reportedly not be allowed to interact with any defence and security personnel who were involved in the 80-hour counter-operation against the terrorists who attacked the airbase in the early hours of January 2.

Meanwhile, Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) staged massive protests outside the Air Base demanding the JIT go back.

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Chanting slogans against the Centre and holding placards saying “Pak JIT go back” the protestors also waved black flags and reached the gates of the Air Base, where defence personnel were seen trying to restrain them and stop them from entering the restricted area.

“First they come here and attack on our soil bleeding us and they pretend that they are trying to get justice. Congress will never stand this farce,” Harinder Kaur, a protestor told ANI.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also took on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the matter saying that the Indian government has knelt before Pakistan.

“Never before in the history of Independent India any Indian govt knelt before Pak as Modi govt has,” he tweeted.

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Echoing similar sentiments, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut also slammed the Centre for ‘welcoming’ the team which also has a member from the ISI and said mockingly that that Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed and Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar could come to India as part of the team and no one will ever know.

“This is completely our failure that we have called them here. What will Pakistan do? They are the guilty party and they are going to investigate? The nation is laughing,” Raut told ANI.

The five-member Pakistani JIT is headed by Chief of Punjab’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Muhammad Tahir Rai and comprises Lahore’s Deputy Director General, Intelligence Bureau, Mohammad Azim Arshad, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) official Lieutenant-Colonel Tanvir Ahmed, Military Intelligence official Lieutenant-Colonel Irfan Mirza and Gujaranwala CTD Investigating Officer, Shahid Tanveer.

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Following inputs from the Ministry of Home Affairs about a possible threat to the JIT by the Islamic fundamentalist organizations based in Pakistan and their proxies in India, the Punjab Police made arrangements to provide 25 bulletproof cars to ferry them and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials in Pathankot and areas close to the border.

The note was sent after the JIT members arrived in India, sparking a political storm over whether they should be given access to the airbase. (ANI)

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