India receives five visa applications for Pakistan’s Pathankot probe team

New Delhi, March 22 (IANS) India on Tuesday received visa applications for five members of the Pakistani team probing the cross-border terror attack on the Pathankot airbase in January this year.

“We have today received visa applications for five members of the Pakistan joint investigation team (JIT),” external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said at a media briefing here.

“The modalities of the visit will be discussed now that we have the composition of the team,” Swarup said.

He, however, added that he did not yet have the details of the JIT members.

Following a meeting with Sartaj Aziz, advisor to the Pakistan prime minister on foreign affairs, on the sidelines of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) ministerial meeting at Pokhara in Nepal last week, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj announced that the Pakistani JIT would arrive in India on March 27 and start its work from the following day.

Seven Indian security personnel lost their lives when terrorists from across the border attacked the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot, Punjab, early on January 2.

The Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) claimed responsibility for the attack in which all the six terrorists also were reportedly killed.

The attack derailed the proposed foreign secretary-level talks that were scheduled for the middle of January after the two countries agreed in December last year to start a comprehensive bilateral dialogue.

India has since sent “actionable evidence” to the Pakistani authorities to bring the perpetrators of the attack to book.

Pakistan filed an FIR in Gujranwala last month against “unknown” terrorists in connection with the attack.

It also said that it would send a JIT to India to probe the attack.

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