ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has asked the chief of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to form a joint investigation team (JIT) to investigate the alleged links of the Pathankot air base attackers with Pakistan, sources in the Prime Minister’s House said on Sunday.
The decision to form a JIT, comprising officials from IB, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI), was taken in a high-level meeting chaired by the premier a few days ago.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, National Security Adviser Lt-Gen (retd) Nasser Khan Janjua, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar attended the meeting.
“Prime Minister Nawaz is taking an active role in getting to the bottom of the Pathankot incident,” a Prime Minister’s House source said. “He also discussed the issue with army chief Gen Raheel Sharif and took him on board about the decision to form a JIT.”
“This investigation will be a major test of the prime minister to move Pakistan-India relationship forward and to break the cycle of off-again on-again talks between the two neighbours,” the source added.
New Delhi has shared with Islamabad some evidence of the Pathankot attackers’ purported links to Pakistan. The evidence is said to include some voice recordings and the cellular phone numbers of the attackers’ handlers which were allegedly traced to Pakistan.
PM Nawaz has assured his Indian counterpart that Pakistan will investigate the matter and make the results public.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2016.