The NIA chief, Sharad Kumar, has made a sensational admission that there was no evidence so far to indicate direct complicity of government of Pakistan or Pakistani agencies in the Pathankot attack.
In an interview to News18, the Director General of National Investigation Agency said, “No evidence to show that Pakistan government or Pakistani government agency was helping Jaish – e –Mohammed or Masood Azhar or his aides carried out the Pathankot attack.”
Kumar said that his agency had completed its investigation in India and was now waiting for the neighbouring country to allow the NIA team to visit Pakistan to complete the investigations.
He said that he was hopeful that Pakistan will allow the NIA visit on the basis of reciprocity.
He said, “We are looking forward to visiting Pakistan but will have to wait for the green signal from the government. We have wrapped up our investigation on the Indian side and we hope to cement it by investigation in Pakistan. As far as chargesheet in this case goes, we will file a chargesheet even if Pakistan does not allow our team to visit. We have sufficient and stringent evidence against Maulana Masood Azhar and his brother Rauf Azhar and we will include those in our charge sheet.”
On being asked if there were any lapses in securing the airbase in Pathankot, Kumar said that was for the government to see.
He said, “That is for the government to see. We are an investigating agency. We are investigating the case as a crime. we will not recommend any action for lapses or security breach.”
His statement has elicited angry response from the ruling BJP’s political adversaries.
Delhi chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, said that this was tantamount to compromising India’s national security before Pakistan.
He tweeted, “No other PM in the history of independent India knelt before Pak like this.”
Faced with adverse reaction, the NIA later issued a statement saying the observation attributed to DG NIA as regards Pathankot investigations “are strongly refuted.” It said his statement has been misquoted.
Kumar’s statement has also found prominent coverage in Pakistani with almost every newspapers carrying his statement prominently.
Dawn’s headline said, “No evidence of Pakistan’s involvement in Pathankot attack: Indian NIA chief”
Pakistan’s The News’ headline said, “Pathankot attack: India’s NIA chief gives clean chit to Pakistan”
ARY, Nation and other newspapers too had similar headlines.
Pakistan’s Urdu newspaper, Jung’s lead headline was “Pakistan Pathanmkot hamle se bari (Pakistan is acquitted from Pathankot attack.)”
Another leading Urdu newspaper of Pakistan, Nawa-i-Waqt’s top headline said, “Pathankot Hamla, Pakistani hukumat, agency malawwis nahi, hamare muwaqqif ki fatah hui: Sartaj Azizi. Pathankot Hamla, Pakistan government, agency not involved. Our stand is vindicated, says Sartaj Aziz)