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
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