No NIA Access To Masood Azhar: Pak Govt Sources


Islamabad: Doing a U-turn over the probe into Pathankot terror attacks, Pakistan is unlikely to allow a team of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to the country for investigation.

Top government sources in Pakistan have told CNN-IBN that the NIA will not be allowed visit to the country or access to Masood Azhar or other JeM top leaders.

Pakistan has asserted that India must not expect reciprocity in Pathankot probe, even as a joint investigation team (JIT) recently visited the airbase in the border town and was provided access to witnesses.

Absolving JeM and ISI of role in Patahnkot attacks, Pakistan accused India of a “shoddy probe” and maligning the neighbor by dragging the name of Pakistan spy agency ISI.

The neighbouring country has also claimed that the JIT was taken to the attack site for 45 minutes only. A day after its return from India, the Pakistani JIT had on Saturday claimed that Indian authorities “failed” to provide evidence to prove that Pakistan-based terrorists had stormed the IAF base, a media report said.

Pakistani investigators were allowed to enter the military airbase from the narrow adjacent routes instead of the main entrance and their duration of the visit was just 55 minutes, enough to take a mere walk through the military facility, sources close to the JIT were quoted as saying by Geo News.

The JIT could not collect evidence in this limited time, the report said citing sources. The JIT members visited the Pathankot airbase on March 29 where NIA officials briefed them and showed them the route from where the attackers stormed the airbase.

The sources were quoted as saying that the lights along the 24-km perimeter wall of the Pathankot airbase were found to be faulty on the eve of the attack.

However, the report claimed that the Pakistani team was only informed about the negligence of Border Security Force (BSF) and Indian forces.

The JIT returned on Friday after their five-day visit to India during which all evidence pertaining to the attack was shared with them, including the DNA of four terrorists, their identity as well as call records showing involvement of Jaish-e Mohammed(JeM) terrorists behind the attack on the Pathankot air base during the intervening night of January 1 and 2.

The gun battle which lasted for more than 80 hours left seven security personnel dead. Bodies of four terrorists have been recovered so far.