NEW DELHI: A Pakistani newspaper has claimed that the Joint Investigative Team that visited Pathankot to inquire into the January terror attack has said in its report that the incident was staged by India, and that New Delhi is using it to spread "vicious propaganda" without any solid evidence.

Although the claims have not been verified, they are likely to cause further tensions between India and Pakistan -- as the government at the centre has come under some criticism for involving the JIT probe team in an internal matter. At the time of writing, Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia criticised the move saying, “The move has accorded recognition that the terrorist attack was caused by non-state actors and that the Pakistan Government was not involved in it… For the first time in the country’s history, an investigation team comprising an Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) officer was given permission to probe into a sensitive matter such as Pathankot terrorist attack.”

Given the opposition, the story in Pakistan Today is likely to cause tensions. It states: “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 has learnt….”

“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”....”

““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.”

The report adds:

“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 quoted 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 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.”

India has not yet commented on the report.