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Pak forms new team to probe Pathankot terror attack

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Pakistan has set up a five-member Joint Investigation Team to probe the terror attack on the Pathankot airbase, a week after it lodged an FIR over the assault without naming JeM chief Masood Azhar who India has accused of having masterminded the strike.

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which was formed by the Punjab government yesterday, is expected to visit India “shortly” to gather evidence if the Indian government gives it permission.

According to Dawn News, the probe team comprises Punjab Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Additional Inspector General of Police (IGP) Muhammad Tahir Rai (convener), Lahore Deputy Director General (DDG) Intelligence Bureau Mohammad Azim Arshad, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Col Tanvir Ahmed, Military Intelligence Lt Col Irfan Mirza and Gujjaranwala CTD Investigating Officer Shahid Tanveer.

Earlier, a six-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) was set up by the federal government for the initial probe into the case based on the leads given by India.

A police official said the SIT would become dysfunctional once government formally transfers its powers to the JIT.

Pakistan on February 18 lodged an FIR in connection with the Pathankot terror attack without naming JeM chief Azhar who India has accused of having masterminded the strike.

The FIR by the Counter-Terrorism Department of Punjab police has been lodged on the basis of information provided by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval that four attackers crossed from Pakistan into India and attacked the airbase on January 2.

The attack led to the postponement of a scheduled meeting between Foreign Secretaries of Pakistan and India in January in Islamabad. Since then, no date has been fixed for the talks.

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