Islamabad: India has made the right move to allow the Pathankot terror attack probe team s visit, said a Pakistani daily on Wednesday. An editorial "Pathankot developments" in the Daily Times said that Adviser to Prime Minister (PM) on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has elucidated on the progress of investigations into the Pathankot attack, which took place on the Indian airbase, on January 2, leaving seven dead and several injured.
After a First Investigation Report (FIR) was registered on Friday by Punjab police s counter-terrorism department, Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had said that it was an insufficient step and that Pakistan should take legal action to India s satisfaction. Aziz asserted that the FIR could not have been taken on the basis of inadequate evidence, especially considering it is a cross-border terrorist attack, which is why it had been delayed.
He said that the FIR had enabled Pakistan to visit the Pathankot airbase. "Contrary to the unequivocal refusal by the Indian defence minister earlier to allow Pakistan s Special Investigation Team (SIT) to visit the airbase, Indian authorities have now agreed to the visit. Aziz stated that the visit to the crime scene would only aid the expeditious investigation," said the daily.
Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) group has been named by India as the principal instigator of the attack and its chief, Masood Azhar, the mastermind. Aziz confirmed that "Azhar and a few other JeM operatives were under protective custody and the moment evidence became available action would be taken against them".
He also revealed that one of the mobile numbers provided by India had been found to be associated to JeM s headquarters, which have been sealed by the authorities. The editorial noted that before the Pathankot attack, "there was a clear thawing of tensions between Pakistan and India, made possible by the growing amity of the premiers". "However, unfortunately, it appears from statements by officials that India may well be going back to relying on suspicions as it did after the Mumbai attacks, which resulted in an impasse.
"While India has made the right move to allow the SIT s visit, there is a need for mutual cognisance that to overcome the hurdles placed in the way to a diplomatic endeavour by the spoilers, there is a need for more definitive action," it added. The daily observed that the "onus is on Pakistan to ensure that investigations are taken to their logical end and not bogged down by political to and fro in order to maintain the possibility of dialogue".
"Indian authorities too need to tread with caution, realising that, ultimately, a solution can only come from dialogue, which will not be effective if the political atmosphere is soured by the disobliging demeanour of any party."