We have evidence that can stand any international judicial scrutiny, including that of Pakistan. We told the visiting JIT from Pakistan that Masood Azhar should be arrested in the case—a senior NIA official
Indian authorities on Tuesday rubbished reports from Pakistan that the January 2 Pathankot terror attack was a “staged drama” meant to malign Islamabad.
Th reaction came after Pakistani media accused India of not having any strong evidence to back its claim of Pakistani involvement in the attack. India has been maintaining that Islamist terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed leader Masood Azhar, with support from Pakistan's ISI, engineered the attack.
Citing an unidentified member of the Pakistani Joint Investigation Team (JIT) sent to India, a Pakistan daily said India staged the attack and used it as part of its vicious propaganda against Islamabad.
However, officials in India denied the report, which may not necessarily be the official version of the JIT.
“We have evidence that can stand any international judicial scrutiny, including that of Pakistan. We told the visiting JIT from Pakistan that Masood Azhar should be arrested in the case,” a senior NIA official was quoted as saying in a report.
Describing the Pakistani report as “a total concoction”, Indian officials also dismissed the reported claim that the JIT did not get cooperation from Indian authorities and that they instead made efforts to hinder the probe by the Pakistani team.
“We fully cooperated with the JIT,” the official clarified.
“While in India, the JIT took on board detailed evidence which was shared by NIA. Since the JIT collected evidence in accordance with a Pakistani law which applies to Pakistani citizens committing an offence abroad, the involvement of Pakistanis in the Pathankot attack is self-evident,” another government official was quoted as saying.
The JIT returned to Pakistan on Friday after five days of investigation, during which India said it provided all evidence pertaining to the attack, including the DNA of four terrorists, their identities and call records showing involvement of Pak-based JeM.
The JIT on Thursday examined 13 witnesses, including former Gurdaspur Superintendent of Police Salwinder Singh, who was allegedly kidnapped and then mysteriously freed by the terrorists who stormed the airbase.
Pakistani terrorists attacked the Pathankot Air Force Station in January this year, in which four attackers and two security forces personnel were killed in the gun battle. An additional security force member later died of injuries.