Pakistan's U-turn on the Pathankot probe is not exactly surprising. Did India know before hand that Pakistan would go back on its promise? Some officials say yes, while others say that they had hoped Pakistan would keep up their word.
When the Joint Investigation (JIT) Team visited India, there appeared to be a lot of bonhomie. In fact, the statements that were issued were so heart warming or too good to be true.
The first signs of a Pakistan U-turn was witnessed when members of the JIT refused to address the Indian media. India should have taken this as a cue.
Understanding the U-turn:
First and foremost, the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), the outfit that carried out the Pathankot attack is a proxy of the ISI.
This ideally would mean that the Pathankot attack could not have been carried out without the blessings of a few ISI officials in Pakistan.
Among the evidence that India shared with Pakistan was some links which linked the attack to the Jaish-e-Mohammad and ISI officials.
However, it was for Pakistan to investigate whether these ISI officials were still in service or retired. The ISI is known to use several of its former officials to plan and launch attacks on India.
While this could be one of the reasons for Pakistan to take a U-turn, the other could be that a part of the establishment did not agree with this bonhomie with India.
Avoiding the media:
It became increasingly clear that Pakistan was up to something when the JIT avoided the media in India.
Normally following a visit of this nature, there is a joint statement issued by the agencies of both countries. However that was not the case here.
The JIT knew that facing the Indian media would mean answering some uncomfortable questions. The JIT would have been asked about the action they proposed to take based on the evidence India had shared.
This would have meant offering a commitment. Further, if they had said that they were not happy with the evidence in India they would have further put themselves in a loop and asked to explain which part of the evidence they did not find valuable.
The JIT instead decided to nod in agreement with the NIA and not ask any question. In fact, the NIA had even said that the JIT was satisfied.
However, the JIT decided to return to Pakistan and speak through the media about how unsatisfactory India's evidence on Pathankot was.