Union home minister Rajnath Singh’s said on Friday that he learnt about Pakistani joint investigation team (JIT)’s visit to India in connection with Pathankot airbase attack from “the media”. The opposition Congress was quick to pounce on the opportunity to take a swipe at the NDA government saying that there is a communication gap between the South Block (where Prime Minister’s office is located) and the North Block (home ministry).
“The biggest communication gap is not between Islamabad and Delhi. It is between South Block and North Block. There is a hotline between Delhi and Islamabad but there is no hotline between South Block and North Block,” senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said expressing “sympathy” with the home minister.
“I have come to know through media that the Pakistan team is coming. We are fully prepared,” said the home minister at an event to distribute scholarship cheques to the school going children of central armed police forces (CAPFs) personnel who were killed while on duty. Asked whether Pakistan probe team would be allowed access to the airbase, Singh said modalities will be worked out once they arrive in India. “Let’s wait for Sushmaji (Sushma Swaraj) to be back (from Nepal),” he said.
Incidentally, his deputy Kiren Rijiju seemed quite in the loop about the JIT’s visit as he told reporters on Thursday that the government had given in-principal approval to the visit of Pak probe team and it will be allowed access to all the places including the airbase. After a meeting with Sartaj Aziz, advisor to the Pakistani Prime Minister on foreign affairs, in Nepal on Thursday, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj had announced that the JIT would be visiting India on March 27.
“The home minister is not aware of the JIT (visit). the defence minister is saying a different thing,” said senior Congress leader Anand Sharma alleging that ministers were talking in “different” voices.