Pathankot, March 24: The visit by Pakistan's Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the Pathankot attack may not yield the desired results. In the aftermath of this visit, by the JIT, the National Investigation Agency will seek permission to visit Islamabad to probe the case.
The visit by the two agencies to India and Pakistan will be more of a confidence building measure. When the JIT visits India and the NIA goes to Pakistan, it would send a message of cooperation and both these agencies are quite aware that the probe will not yield much results. All the work will ultimately have to be done by the NIA in India.
Following the Pathankot attack, Pakistan has not been in a denial mode that the attack was launched from their soil. In fact there was some amount of action taken by Pakistan which said that a couple of people had been detained and the Jaish-e-Mohammad chief, Maulana Masood Azhar kept in protective custody.
First and foremost there is nothing really that the JIT would get by visiting the Pathankot air base. All the evidence is with the NIA and the JIT could well obtain it from the officers probing the case. In addition to this Pakistan has not reverted on the call details that had been sent by the NIA in which the terrorists were heard speaking with their handlers.
However, India has a good reason to allow the Pakistan team to visit Pathankot. It gives the NIA a ground to seek permission to visit Islamabad. Pakistan will have to reciprocate on this aspect. A visit by the NIA to Islamabad too may not yield any results.
The questions that one would need to ask in the backdrop of an NIA visit to Islamabad is whether they will be allowed to question Maulana Masood Azhar. Will they be allowed into the training camps and the seminaries run by the Jaish-e-Mohammad? Will the evidence as sought by the NIA be provided in Pakistan? The answer to all these questions can be prima facie answered in the negative.
Overall it appears to be a good PR exercise. However, such an exercise is good in one way and could lead to better cooperation in the future. India has decided that it would continue to talk with Pakistan and not allow a jihadi to set the conditions for the talks.