Union minister Kiren Rijiju refused on Friday to give a clean chit to the Pakistani official establishment in connection with the terror attack on the Pathankot Indian Air Force base, saying investigations were still on.
“There is no question of a clean chit or any clarification. Investigation is on,” the Union minister of state for home told reporters, a day after National Investigating Agency chief Sharad Kumar reportedly said so far there was no hand of the Pakistan government or its agencies in helping JeM carry out the Pathankot attack.
Asked about the NIA chief’s comments, Rijiju said nothing conclusive had come out on whether any group part of the Pakistan government was involved in the attack.
Even as the NIA backtracked on Kumar’s statement, on its part, Islamabad touted his remarks to claim “vindication” of its long-standing position in this regard.
The whole row started over a written interview purportedly given by Kumar to a television channel in which he had said “no. So far, no evidence to show that Pakistan government or Pakistani government agency was helping Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) or Masood Azhar or his aides carry out Pathankot attack.”
Later, the NIA issued a statement saying the observation attributed to the director general of the NIA “are strongly refuted.” It said his statement was misquoted.
The external affairs minister reacted to the controversy, saying the Kumar had already issued a clarification and it put out the government’s position that “the involvement of Pakistan’s nationals in the Pathankot Air Base attack is an accepted fact”.