Pathankot attack a drama staged by India, says Pak JIT

The Pakistani Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the Pathankot terrorist attack has finalised its report and will submit it to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ''in the next few days'', Pakistan Today reports.

A source privy to the details of the report said the JIT report has concluded that the Indian authorities had prior information about the attackers. He said that India used the attack as a tool to expand its ''vicious propaganda'' against Pakistan ''without having any solid evidence to back the claim''.

Meanwhile, the Pathankot attack probe took an ugly turn on Saturday when an Indian Muslim police officer investigating the matter was killed in a terrorist attack in front of his wife and kids.

''The brutal murder of a Muslim investigator is evidence that Indian establishment wants to keep the matter under wraps,'' a member of the JIT told Pakistan Today.

According to the source, the JIT's report says that the Indian government did not cooperate with the JIT and instead made efforts to hinder the probe by the Pakistani team.

''The report also raises serious questions over the veracity of Indian claims regarding the Pathankot attack. The JIT has concluded that contrary to the claims of the Indian government about the duration of the encounter, the standoff between the Indian Army and alleged terrorists ended within hours of the attack,'' the source said quoting the report, adding that this finding has made it clear that the attack was a drama staged to malign Pakistan and persuade the world community that Pakistan is involved in terrorism.

''Indian authorities also failed to establish that the attackers entered from Pakistan,'' the report says adding that within hours of the assault, all the attackers were shot dead by the Indian security forces. ''However, the Indian authorities made it a three-day drama to get maximum attention from the world community in order to malign Pakistan,'' the report added.

The Pakistani team was allowed entry into the Pathankot base from a narrow passage out of a breach specially developed into the airbase instead of the main entry gate.

The source added the total duration of the JIT's visit to the base was about 55 minutes. He said the team was denied the opportunity to collect evidence from the site of the attack.

The source said no major damage was done to the base and that the Indian authorities showed the JIT the place from where the assailants had entered the base. He said the investigators were informed that perimeter lights were also not functional on the day of the attack.

This raises serious questions on the attack as India had prior information about the attackers and the entire area had been sealed three days ahead of the attack, the source quoted the report.

The source added that no evidence was shared with the JIT about Indian claims that terrorists had entered from the Pakistani side of the border.

The source said that the Indian claims about the entry from the Pakistani side were unsupported as they failed to answer why the electric fence on the border failed to hinder the entry.

''The Indian response was ridiculous. They claimed that the breach was possible as power was not running through the electric fence due to some electricity problem that night,'' the source added.

The report also indicates another flaw in the Indian investigation, as the attackers could not have scaled the airbase walls with a single rope without a hook.

''Another flaw in Indian claim is that the airbase perimeter lamps were turned off despite a 28-hour early warning of an attack,'' the source added.

The source said that the report concludes that the Indian allegations about the involvement of Pakistan's non-state actors in the Pathankot Airbase attack have not been established and ''what appears from the Indian side is a case of a badly knitted stage drama''.

''The report concludes that the Pathankot attack looked like another false flag operation fully facilitated by the Indian army just to put the blame on Pakistan,'' the source added.

Reports in media earlier have talked about the reluctance of the Indian officials to cooperate with the JIT.

Reports said the Indian authorities did not provide the JIT with any evidence when it asked for the recordings of the telephone calls of SP Salwinder Singh, his wife and other related persons and the IME numbers and copies of the three FIRs that had been filed after the attack.