Islamabad: Pakistan has set up a five-member Joint Investigation Team to probe the attack on the Pathankot air base, a week after it lodged an FIR over the assault without naming JeM chief Masood Azhar, who India has accused of having masterminded the strike.
The Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which was formed by the Punjab government on Thursday, is expected to visit India “shortly” to gather evidence if the Indian government gives it permission.
An official of Punjab Home Department confirmed that a JIT has been formed by the provincial government for the Pathankot attack probe. “The JIT will carry out any further probe into the attack,” he said on condition of anonymity.
The probe team comprises Punjab Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Additional Inspector General of Police (IGP) Muhammad Tahir Rai (convener), Lahore Deputy Director General (DDG) Intelligence Bureau Mohammad Azim Arshad, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Col Tanvir Ahmed, Military Intelligence Lt Col Irfan Mirza and Gujranwala CTD Investigating Officer Shahid Tanveer.
Earlier, a six-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) was set up by the federal government for the initial probe into the case based on the leads given by India.
A police official said the SIT would become dysfunctional once government formally transfers its powers to the JIT.
Pakistan on February 18 lodged an FIR in connection with the Pathankot attack without naming JeM chief Azhar who India has accused of having masterminded the strike.
The FIR by the Counter-Terrorism Department of Punjab police has been lodged on the basis of information provided by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval that four attackers crossed from Pakistan into India and attacked the airbase on January 2.
The attack led to the postponement of a scheduled meeting between Foreign Secretaries of Pakistan and India in January in Islamabad. Since then, no date has been fixed for the talks.