Pak’s SIT receives India’s nod to visit Pathankot, says Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Sunday said Islamabad has received a nod from Indian authorities regarding the Special Investigation Team’s intention to visit India in connection with the Pathankot terror attack.

Khan said Pakistan had approached India to seek permission for Pakistan’s SIT to visit Pathankot, and Indian authorities had given their nod to the SIT’s proposed visit to India.

“The first step is that we take the record of these numbers from the service providers. This information should be handed over to the investigation team. Secondly, the few names that have been informally given to us from the other side, what is the connection between these names and the phone numbers? This will be examined,” he said.

“There are some questions, some missing links that have come out in the initial investigation. Our Special Investigation Team (SIT) will go to India, along with all this information. Another thing that I want to clarify about which there is a lot of confusion: A letter has already been written to India by our Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stating that our SIT would like to visit India, and especially Pathankot, in order to complete this investigation. In a reply to our letter, they have agreed to this, but have also said that they should be informed five days ahead of whenever the team is planning to come. Now that the FIR has been lodged, and the initial investigation is complete, in the next few days communications will be exchanged and with a gap of five days, the SIT will go there,” he added.

On Friday, the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) filed the FIR against unnamed suspects involved in Pathankot Airbase India attack, a move that did not receive a positive response from Pakistani security analysts.

Khan said all the insinuations about the FIR from both sides of the border were a ‘storm in a teacup.’ He added that the FIR was registered on the basis of some phone numbers which India had shared with Pakistan.

“Some numbers were shared with us in connection with Pathankot. Those numbers have formally been made a part of the FIR. Who the numbers belong to, as well as what is the connection of these telephone numbers to the names that were shared informally with the government of Pakistan from across the border. All this will come out after the investigations. Initial investigations have been carried out on those phone numbers, but the actual probe can only go on when we get a proper telephone record of those numbers from the service providers,” the minister said.

He said he expected a decision regarding the visit of the SIT to India will be made in the next few days.

In reply to a question, Khan said some arrests have been made, however the authorities will be able to reach a correct conclusion after conducting a thorough investigation.

“I want to also clarify that some arrests have also been made, but what connection these arrests have with those names or those telephone numbers that were given to us by the other side, this will also have to be investigated before we can reach any results,” Khan said.

The Foreign Secretary level talks between the two nations scheduled for January 15 were postponed on January 2, after the Indian airbase in Pathankot near Pakistan’s border was stormed by terrorists, killing seven Indian security personnel.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi are expected to meet in the United States next month during the nuclear summit in Washington. (ANI)