Countering the Pakistan high commissioner’s assertion that the visit by Pakistani JIT was not on reciprocity, India on Thursday said before the team’s visit here, both sides had agreed that it would be on the basis of reciprocity.
“We have seen comments by the Pakistani high commissioner on the visit of the JIT Team to investigate the terrorist attack on the Pathankot Air Base that have reference to reciprocity.
“MEA would like to clarify that on 26 March, 2016, before the visit of the JIT, the Indian high commission formally conveyed to the Pakistani foreign ministry that the Terms of Reference ‘are broadly agreed to with the proviso that these would be on the basis of reciprocity and followed in accordance with extant legal provisions’.
“Subsequently, the JIT visited from March 27 to April 1, 2016,” external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said.
During a media interaction earlier, Pakistan high commissioner Abdul Basit said, “The whole investigation is not about the 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.”
Reacting to Basit’s remarks that the India-Pak peace process stands “suspended”, Swarup referred to the press conference of Pakistani foreign ministry spokesman Nafees Zakaria in which he said, “I have stated this many times that both countries are in contact with each other and it has been reiterated from both sides that modalities are being worked out.
“I will again state that negotiations are the best means to resolve the issues. I have read the statement of the Indian foreign secretary you are referring to and in that also there was indication that the talks would take place.” He was asked about the status of India-Pak foreign secretary-level talks.