Hope dims even further
In a move that could create fissures in Indo-Pak relations, the Pakistani Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which visited the Pathankot Air Force base, is expected to declare that the terror attack was "a drama" staged by India "to malign Pakistan", according to a Pakistani media report. Pakistan Today has apparently quoted a report prepared by the Pakistani JIT as saying "the attack was a drama staged to malign Pakistan and persuade the world community that Pakistan is involved in terrorism." The report also allegedly states that "Indian authorities also failed to establish that the attackers entered from Pakistan." Contrary to Saturday’s revelation, Pakistan had recently admitted to the involvement of its citizens in the terror attack. Proof came in the form of the Pakistani JIT’s written request to India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) for sharing evidence in the case. The request was made under Section 188 of Pakistan's Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), which applies to Pakistani nationals who commit a crime outside the country, according to Indian intelligence officials. Meanwhile, the National investigation Agency (NIA) has rubbished claims that India did not cooperate with the JIT during its probe into the Pathankot terror attack and failed to produce solid evidence to back its claim. Reports indicate that enough evidence in the form of intercepts, phone record and DNAs of terrorists were given. The investigative agency also said that they have even provided additional information to Pakistan JIT as demanded. Indian intelligence officials had identified Kashif Jaan as the main handler of the terrorists. He was reportedly in touch with Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar, as the terrorists launched their assault at the base. The previous Pakistan government-appointed Special Investigation Team had also contended that there was no real evidence against Masood Azhar and JeM for their alleged role in the Pathankot. Suffice to say, there has been no progress. Some foreign policy hawks have attributed these recent developments to poor strategy on New Delhi’s part. “Modi's diplomacy, driven more by personal equations than by leveraging or reciprocity, has yielded diminishing returns,” says Brahma Chellaney, a leading strategic analyst on South Asia. If the Pakistan Today report is indeed true then Chellaney’s contention could be correct.