The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has reportedly informed the government that it will have no objection if a Special Investigation Team (SIT) from Pakistan wants to visit the Pathankot air base, a high security defence installation. The Pakistan SIT is due to visit India in connection with an ongoing probe.
Last week, the Air Force chief, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, had said that the force would have no objection if the Pakistan SIT wanted to visit the air base.
A senior government official said that the final decision would be taken by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the National Security Advisor (NSA) would also have a say in it.
A few days ago, the NIA was asked for its opinion on the Pakistan SIT’s visit to the air base. “The area of operation, where the four terrorists were gunned down and the Airmen’s Billet, which was blown up, are located at the periphery of the air base. The defence installations are much inside and it is highly unlikely that the security of the airbase would be compromised”, said the official.
The NIA’s decision assumes significance as India and Pakistan have renewed attempts to share real time information on terrorist groups. Last week, Pakistan NSA Naseer Khan Janjua informed his Indian counterpart that 10 Pakistan-based terrorists could have sneaked into India through the Gujarat coast. Following this information, a country-wide alert was issued and security agencies were pressed into action to further tackle the situation.
The Pakistan SIT is expected to visit India around March 20, an official said. Based on information provided by India, a case has been registered in Pakistan regarding the Pathankot attack and three persons have been arrested.