SRINAGAR: The Pakistani Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the Pathankot attack has claimed that the Indian authorities had prior information about the attackers but the country used the incident as a tool to expand its “vicious propaganda”.
According to a report carried by Pakistan-based ‘Pakistan Today’, the JIT has finalised its report and would submit it to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif soon.
The report quoted its source as revealing that the JIT has concluded that “the Indian authorities had prior information about the attackers”.
“India used the attack as a tool to expand its ‘vicious propaganda’ against Pakistan ‘without having any solid evidence to back the claim’,” the source has told the newspaper.
India has accused Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) of attacking an Indian airbase at Pathankot on J&K-Punjab border on January 2, 2016. Seven government personnel were killed along with all six attackers.
The consortium of Kashmir-based militant outfits—United Jehad Council (UJC)—had claimed responsibility for the attack, refuting the allegations leveled by India on JeM.
The JIT members visited Pathankot airbase on March 29 where the officials of India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) briefed and showed them the route from where the attackers stormed the airbase.
During their five-day stay in India from March 27, the Pakistani team, including from the military, police and intelligence agencies, visited the attack site at Pathankot and interacted with NIA officials in Delhi.
Meanwhile, as per the media report, the attack probe took an ugly turn on Saturday when an Indian Muslim police officer investigating the matter was killed in an attack in front of his wife and kids.
“The brutal murder of a Muslim investigator is evidence that Indian establishment wants to keep the matter under wraps,” a unnamed member of the JIT was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
According to the source, the JIT’s report said the Indian government did not cooperate with the JIT and instead made efforts to hinder the probe by the Pakistani team.
“The report also raises serious questions over the veracity of Indian claims regarding the Pathankot attack. The JIT has concluded that contrary to the claims of the Indian government about the duration of the encounter, the standoff between the Indian army and alleged terrorists ended within hours of the attack,” the source quoted the report.
He has said the findings have made it clear that the attack was a drama staged to malign Pakistan and persuade the world community that Pakistan is involved in terrorism.
“Indian authorities also failed to establish that the attackers entered from Pakistan,” the report has suggested, adding that within hours of the assault, all the attackers were shot dead by the India’s government forces.
“However, the Indian authorities made it a three-day drama to get maximum attention from the world community in order to malign Pakistan,” the newspaper quoted from the report.
The newspaper, on the basis of its source, said no major damage was done to the base and that the Indian authorities showed the JIT the place from where the assailants had entered the base.
This raises serious questions on the attack as India had prior information about the attackers and the entire area had been sealed three days ahead of the attack, the newspaper’s source has quoted the report.