New Delhi: Pakistan Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Monday indicated that his country may consider a request by India for a visit by its NIA team to further probe the Pathankot terror strike, days after top Pakistani envoy ruled out the same.
Mr Aziz said Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit’s comments that the bilateral peace process was “suspended” did not mean “cancelled or given up” and hoped that the Indo-Pak dialogue will resume soon.
On whether India’s National National Investigation Agency (NIA) team will be allowed to visit Pakistan in connection with Pathankot attack probe, Mr Aziz told CNN-NEWS18 in an interview that “once the stage is reached…India makes a request and then we will see”.
Claiming that Mr Basit’s comments that cooperation not meaning reciprocity were “over-interpreted”, he said he did not exclude option of NIA’s visit to Pakistan.
“I don’t think he used that word. He said that right now cooperation is more important than that of reciprocity and does not exclude option and he said that let’s cooperate and then thing will work out. So, I don’t think one should over interpret statement, he (Basit) just said that cooperation is more important which is true,” Mr Aziz said.
Earlier this month, Mr Basit had indicated that an Indian probe team is unlikely to be allowed to visit Pakistan, which had sent its JIT to probe the terror attack at the air base, saying, “…the whole investigation is not about question of reciprocity in my view. It is more about extending cooperation or our two countries cooperating with each other to get to the bottom of the incident”.
Mr Aziz also downplayed Mr Basit’s remarks on “suspension” of Indo-Pak peace process, saying “… suspending doesn’t mean cancelled or given up”. For the time being you called it suspended as obviously after January, four months have passed, and to that “extent dialogue is suspended but I hope it will resume soon,” he added.
He also alleged that the recent arrest of the former Indian naval officer, Kulbhushan Jadhav, was “not the case of one individual. It is network which is operating in Baloachistan. We have arrested some more people… We don’t want consular access to affect our investigating in to this entire episode.”
Mr Jadhav was arrested last month by Pakistan authorities, who alleged that he was an Indian spy, an allegation rejected by India that has sought consular access to him.