The five-member team would not have access to the base, but only to the isolated ‘crime scene’, according to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar
Panaji: The five-member Pakistani Joint Investigation Team, which is in India to probe the terror attack on Pathankot’s airbase would not have access to the base, but only the isolated “crime scene”, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Monday.
Members of Pakistan’s Joint Investigation Team, in a meeting with officials at the National Investigation Agency (NIA) headquarters in New Delhi. Pics/PTI
Parrikar said the defence ministry had “refused permission” to the visiting probe team to access the base. “The crime scene has been handed over to the NIA. Who they want to bring there is their call.” Parrikar said only the National Investigation Agency (NIA) can tell whether it is taking the Pakistan probe team to the crime scene. The crime scene, where terrorists from Pakistan killed seven security personnel on January 2, has been handed over to the NIA and has been isolated. But it lies within the sprawling Indian Air Force complex.
The minister said the area has been fenced, has no contact with the base and even has a separate entry, “The area is isolated, taken out of the airbase, and completely barricaded.” He added that the Pakistani team has been given no permission to interact with any defence personnel or use any defence vehicle during its Pathankot visit.
“The directions are very clear. The crime scene should be barricaded, visually blocked. External entry has been given to the NIA. Who they bring in is their responsibility,” Parrikar said, adding, “If we don't give (NIA) the freedom for investigation, the burden of failure will come to the defence ministry.”
Parrikar admits man held in Pak is a veteran
The External Affairs Ministry has been asked to extend all possible help to former Navy official Kulbhushan Jadhav, arrested by Pakistan claiming he was a RAW operative, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar yesterday said.
“We do agree, to the extent I know, that he is an Indian citizen and we have asked for consular access,” Parrikar said, adding that he is concerned about Jadhav since he is a veteran.
Giving details, the Minister said he had “indicated” to the MEA that Jadhav is an ex-officer and should be given all assistance and support required. Parrikar refused to comment anything more on Jadhav saying, “other than paying him One Rank One Pension I cannot talk about anything on an ex officer”.