Pakistan probe team ends Pathankot visit amid protests

Pakistan-probe-teamPathankot, March 29 (IANS) A Pakistani team probing the terror attack on the IAF base here in Punjab in January ended its day-long visit to the frontier base and nearby areas in the border belt amid vocal protests by opposition parties.

It is the first time a Pakistan probe panel, which included an officer of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, was allowed any access to a high-value Indian defence facility.

The Indian Air Force base was attacked on January 2, leading to the death of seven Indian security personnel and all the attackers after an 80-hour gun battle.

The five-member Pakistani Joint Investigation Team (JIT) reached the air base on Tuesday amid vociferous protests by activists of the Congress, AAP and Shiv Sena.

Those opposing the visit accused the central government of playing a “double game” – accusing the ISI of sponsoring terrorism in India and then letting an ISI official to visit the IAF base.

The team, which landed at Amritsar on Tuesday morning, was driven in a bullet-proof SUV to Pathankot, escorted to the rear side of the sprawling IAF base in a mini bus accompanied by NIA officials. Punjab’s Police’s elite SWAT commandos guarded them.

The Pakistani officials entered through a specially created entrance in the peripheral wall of the air base and were taken to specific areas in the complex. They spent a few minutes at the base.

They were kept away from the technical area and shown only those areas where security forces had engaged the Pakistani terrorists.

The team later visited various locations in the border belt of Pathankot district to retrace the movement of the terrorists.

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