Pakistan accepts involvement of its nationals in Pathankot attack

In a major boost to the Indian probe into the Pathankot case, Pakistan has admitted the involvement of its nationals in the terror attack. It came in the form of the Pakistani joint investigation team (JIT)’s written request to the national investigation agency (NIA) for sharing evidence in the case. The request was made under Section 188 of the Pakistani CrPC, which applies to Pakistani nationals who commit crime outside the country, according to NIA officials.

“The JIT submitted a written request to the NIA for sharing evidence in the Pathankot case , only then a process for providing them documents, witness statements and other information was started on Wednesday,” said a senior NIA official requesting anonymity.
Section 188 of the Pakistani criminal procedure code applies for prosecuting those Pakistani nationals in Pakistan who have committed crime outside its jurisdiction. It is a formal acceptance of involvement of Pakistani nationals in the airbase attack,” said the official.

The process of sharing evidence that began on Wednesday continued on Thursday as well with the JIT examining 13 witnesses in the case including Punjab’s superintendent of police Salwinder Singh, his cook Madan Gopal and jeweler friend Rajesh Verma.
Singh, Gopal and Verma were travelling together in Punjab police official’s vehicle on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1 when four attackers overpowered them and snatched their vehicle to reach the airbase. Eight persons including seven security personnel were killed in the attack.

A five-member JIT, including an officer of Pakistani spy agency ISI, has in India for the last five days to interact with the NIA officials who conducting probe here.
“Examination of Salwinder happened in the presence of two officials each from the NIA and the JIT. Salwinder is being treated as witness in the case,” said another official of the NIA who also spoke on the condition of anonymity given the sensitive nature of case.
The official added that the NIA probe converges with the investigation carried out in Pakistan at some place. The JIT has accepted that the attackers came from Pakistan.
“The NIA and the JIT are probing same set of accused,” said the official.
India probe has revealed that at least four attackers, who captured Salwinder Singh’s vehicle, had come from Pakistan after a conspiracy hatched by terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad, headed by Maulana Masood Azhar.

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