Clauses Didn’t Grant Pak JIT Ac­cess to In­dian Per­son­nel

Pak says wit­nesses of In­dian se­cu­rity forces, in­clud­ing NSG com­man­dos were not pro­duced be­fore the JIT; team’s ob­jec­tive in­cluded doc­u­men­ta­tion of phys­i­cal ev­i­dence

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - Rahul.Tri­pathi @ times­group.com

New Delhi: The terms of ref­er­ence (ToR) agreed be­tween In­dia and Pak­istan ahead of the Joint In­ves­ti­ga­tion Team visit did not con­tain the clause to grant ac­cess to wit­nesses be­long­ing to In­dian se­cu­rity. It, how­ever, stated “to in­ter­view key wit­nesses and vic­tims re­lated to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” re­veals the ToR ac­cessed by ET. Pak­istan on Wed­nes­day said the wit­nesses be­long­ing to In­dian se­cu­rity forces that in­cluded air­base per­son­nel and NSG com­man­dos were not pro­duced be­fore the JIT. Ac­cord­ing to Page 3 of ToR, it was agreed that “the JIT will process the ev­i­dence in the most pro­fes­sional man­ner and es­tab­lish a chain of cus­tody to en­sure ad­mis­si­bil­ity of ev­i­dence in the rel­e­vant court.”

Among the head­ing listed as ‘out­put’ in ToR, it was agreed be­tween New Delhi and Islamabad that JIT will sub­mit its “re­port to the Gov­ern­ment of Pak­istan on con­clu­sion of the in­ves­ti­ga­tions. The re­port is ex­pected to the ba­sis for de­vel­op­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions file of the case.”

Be­sides, record­ing the state­ment of wit­nesses, the other ob­jec­tives of the JIT in­cluded col­lec­tion, re­view and doc­u­men­ta­tion of phys­i­cal ev­i­dence re­gard­ing the in­ci­dent. The NIA team prob­ing the air­base at­tack sup­plied JIT with ev­i­dence that in­cluded made in Pak­istan goods, which were found from the pos­ses­sion of slain mil­i­tants in form of food pack­ets and medicines among oth­ers, said a se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial.

The JIT was also man­dated “to col­lect pieces of foren­sic ev­i­dences for their pos­si­ble matches with spec­i­mens of rel­e­vant in­di­vid­u­als in Pak­istan. Col­lect, col­late, an­a­lyse and doc­u­ment elec­tronic and dig­i­tal ev­i­dence”. This in­cluded the DNA ex­hibits re­ports, post-mortem re­port and the parent­age of the slain mil­i­tants.

Islamabad, also sought to out­line as­sis­tance re­quired from In­dian au­thor­i­ties dur­ing the JIT visit, in­clud­ing a brief­ing by NIA on the in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­ducted by them. It was also agreed be­tween In­dian and Pak­istan that JIT will be pro­vided with all the avail­able ev­i­dence in New Delhi’s pos­ses­sion for en­abling Islamabad to build a strong pros­e­cu­tion case. The five-mem­ber JIT team headed by ad­di­tional IGP of counter ter­ror­ism de­part­ment (CTD) Pun­jab po­lice Mohd Tahir Rai, vis­ited New Delhi be­tween March 27 and April 1, dur­ing which they were taken to the crime scene of the Pathankot air­base. The team also trav­elled to bor­der ar­eas near Bamiyal from where the at­tack­ers are sus­pected to have in­fil­trated, said a se­nior NIA of­fi­cial. The JIT was con­sti­tuted by Pak­istan on Fe­bru­ary 25, to probe the FIR reg­is­tered by CTD on the in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­vi­sor (NSA) Ajit Do­val, re­gard­ing in­volve­ment of Pak­istan na­tion­als in Pathankot at­tack.

The JIT was con­sti­tuted to probe the in­volve­ment of Pak­istan na­tion­als in the air­base at­tack

Pak JIT at Na­tional In­ves­ti­ga­tion Agency head­quar­ters in New Delhi last month O T O H P E L I F

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