New Delhi, Aug 1: On January 3, 2016 a call at the Pathankot air base was intercepted. In the conversation, the handler is heard telling the terrorists, "Those non-believers have no idea whether there are 4 or 6 fighters (terrorists)." If one may recall there was utter confusion on the day that the Pathankot air base was attacked.
The confusion began when Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh announced that the attack was over and four terrorists were killed. However, a few hours later there was another message in which it was said that two more terrorists were holed up and the operation was still on. The operation then went on for another 48 hours before it was declared complete.
The big question that cropped up was whether there were four or six terrorists. The NIA when it began its probe stated that they were probing the role of six terrorists. However, till date the NIA has not been able to find even an iota of evidence to suggest that there were more than four at the air base.
Final number 4
The NIA has sent what was meant to be the charred remains of the two terrorists for forensic analysis. On two occasions the forensic analysis has stated that there is no evidence. The video footage at the air base too does not indicate that there were more than four terrorists. Moreover the NIA has only managed to recover four bodies.
Further confusion was created after it claimed that two more backpacks had been found. However, the NIA has found no evidence of this as well. When the Joint Investigation Team from Pakistan visited India, the NIA had maintained that there were only four terrorists.
Now with Rajnath Singh visiting Islamabad to attend the SAARC ministerial conference, there is likely to be a discussion on the probe update.
While Rajnath Singh would rise with Pakistan on the sidelines of the conference the Pathankot probe, he would also raise the issue pertaining to the NIA's visit to that country.
The NIA was supposed to visit Pakistan in connection with the probe, but no date has been fixed as yet. However when Rajnath would give a status update on the probe, he would maintain that four terrorists of the Jaish-e-Mohammad had attacked the air base.