India declines to give clean chit to Pak in airbase attack
NEW DELHI (DHNS): India on Friday declined to give a clean chit to state agencies of Pakistan in the case of January 2-5 terror attack on an airbase at Pathankot in Punjab.
A day after National Investigation Agency chief Sharad Kumar created a flutter by ruling out role of Pakistan government’s agencies in the terror attack on the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot, New Delhi went into a damage-control mode.
“There is no question of a clean chit or any clarification. Investigation is on,” the Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju told journalists.
The Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement pointing out that the investigations into the attacks were going on both in India and in Pakistan.
“At this stage, we await further response and information from Pakistan. It would be injudicious to speculate in this situation,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said. Swarup noted that the involvement of Pakistan’s nationals in the attack on the airbase was “an accepted fact”.
The row started after the NIA chief gave an interview to a TV channel. “No. So far, no evidence to show that the Pakistan government or Pakistani government agency was helping Jaish-e- Mohammed (JeM) or Masood Azhar or his aides to carry out Pathankot attack,” Kumar told the TV channel, when he was asked about the role of state actors of Pakistan.
The NIA on Friday issued a statement strongly refuting the observation attributed to its chief regarding investigations into the attack in Pathankot. The probe agency said that Kumar’s statement had been misquoted.
“I would remind you that investigations are ongoing. Foreign Secretary (S Jaishankar) had conveyed to his Pakistani counterpart when they met in New Delhi in April that it was time for review of progress in investigation in the attack after return of Pakistan’s JIT (Joint Investigation Team), which had gathered all evidence that it had wanted when it visited India,” said the MEA official spokesperson.He said that enough information had also been provided to Pakistani authorities through two Letters Rogatory to conduct investigation in Pakistan.