Pathankot attack probe: NIA to send fresh LRs to Pakistan

New Delhi: NIA has readied fresh Letters Rogatory (LRs) to be sent to Pakistan containing the addresses of four Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists who attacked the strategic Pathankot IAF base in January.

The LRs are being despatched notwithstanding indications from the Pakistani side that it was not yet ready to receive Indian investigators to carry forward the probe in the January two attack that left seven security personnel dead. Four terrorists were also killed in the 80-hour gunbattle.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had put the pictures of the four dead terrorists on its official website and asked general public for help in identifying them.

According to official sources, the central probe agency, set up in the aftermath of 26/11 Mumbai attacks, was flooded with many emails, some of which originated from Pakistan also, giving information about the terrorists.

NIA, during its interaction with the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) of Pakistan, had sought details about the place of residence of the terrorists whose names had been shared with the visiting probe team. However, there was no response from Pakistan on the India's request.

The five-member JIT also comprising an ISI officer had visited India from March 27 to April one during which they visited the air base and recorded statements of 16 witnesses.

During the exercise of verification of the information gathered through emails, the NIA showed the pictures and addresses to some of the jailed terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group lodged in jails here and got important inputs from them.

The address of Nasir Hussain, one of the terrorists, was located at Vehari, a town 100 kms from Multan in Punjab province of Pakistan. He is the son of Mohd Mansa and stays at House number WB-89, Mohalla Chak in the town.

Hussain was the Jaish terrorist who had called his mother Khayyam Babbar minutes before the terror group launched a suicide attack inside the IAF base on the intervening night of January one and two.

The other terrorist was identified as Hafiz Abu Bakar, son of Mohammed Fazil and resident of Gujranwala in Pakistan. While Umer Farooq was stated to be son of Abdul Samad who stays in Madni Road, Mohalla Madisah, Shahdadpur in Sindh province of Pakistan, the fourth terrorist Abdul Qayum was the son of Mohamed Amin, resident of Chachar, Tehsil Pano Akil in district Sukkur of the Sindh province of Pakistan.

India has already sent Letters Rogatory to Pakistan in which it had asked for voice samples of Jaish chief Maulana Masood Azhar, his brother Abdul Rauf and Khayyam Babbar, mother of Hussain.

In the meanwhile, NIA Director General Sharad Kumar today said his team was ready to visit Pakistan as and when there was a clearance from Islamabad. "We have handed over all the documents sought by the JIT and I believe that the evidence handed over to Pakistan can stand scrutiny in any court of law internationally," Kumar said.

After the JIT returned home, Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit had poured cold water on India's expectations that a team of NIA investigators would be allowed to visit Pakistan in connection with the Pathankot terror strike probe on the basis of reciprocity.

"The whole investigation is not about the question of reciprocity in my view. It is more about extending cooperation or our two countries cooperating with each other to get to the bottom of the incident," Basit had said earlier this month.

In Islamabad, Pakistan Foreign office had issued a statement about JIT's visit and said "...the witnesses belonging to the Indian security forces were not produced before it."

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