Pakistan investigative team goes to Pathankot, Opposition protests their ‘red carpet welcome’
The Congress began a protest outside the air force base while an Aam Aadmi Party minister has threatened to stop them from entering the area.
The five-member Joint Investigative Team from Pakistan reached Pathankot on Tuesday morning, amid cries of protest from Opposition leaders. Congress workers protested outside the air force base on Tuesday morning, after its party leaders on Monday criticised Narendra Modi’s government for giving the team a “red carpet welcome” and “unfettered access”. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also joined the Congress and asked why the government was “on its knees” for the team. Aam Aadmi Party Kapil Mishra also threatened to go to Pathankot and prevent the Pakistani team from entering the base.
On Monday, the JIT was shown evidence from the terror attacks at Pathankot in early January in the attacks that killed seven security personnel and one civilian. Reports said that the team did not refute the involvement of Pakistan-based terror module Jaish-e-Mohammed. Earlier, Pakistan had said they did not find any evidence of JeM’s involvement. The team, led by Punjab’s Counter Terrorism Department chief Muhammad Tahir Rai, has members from Inter-Services Intelligence and the Intelligence Bureau. They will also have access to witnesses the attacks.
The team is also under threat from fundamentalist organisations based in India and Pakistan, The Times of India reported, and has been given extra security cover. They travelled to the base in bulletproof vehicles from Amritsar. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday said his ministry did not clear the team’s visit. He said the base was under the National Investigation Agency’s control and that the agency could decide who to allow inside the crime scene.