MP panel questions Pakistan team visit

Demanding to know who in the government cleared the visit of Pakistan’s Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the Pathankot airbase attack, parliamentarians hauled up Home Ministry officials on Wednesday.

Some MPs wanted to know under what circumstances permission was granted to the JIT to visit the strategic airbase.

Officials mum

“The Ministry officials had no answers when we asked them who permitted the visit of Pakistan JIT to India. They were silent. We allowed them [Pakistan JIT] to enter the airbase, knowing that the attack originated from Pakistan,” an MP who attended the meeting told The Hindu.

The issue arose when the MPs were discussing the border management scenario in the country.

The Standing Committee on Home Affairs, led by Congress MP P. Bhattacharya, met the Home Ministry officials to discuss the demands for grants for the Budget for 2016-17.

Opposition parties such as the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party and the Shiv Sena, a BJP ally, have criticised the government for allowing the visit of the JIT to India.

The Congress had said that the Narendra Modi government had set a “wrong precedent” by inviting the team as it also included an Inter-Services Intelligence official.

Relief packages

Parliamentarians also grilled the officials regarding the allocation of relief packages announced by the Prime Minister after any disaster.

The Home Ministry officials told the MPs that no additional money was allotted but it was released from the already earmarked National Disaster Relief Fund of over Rs. 12,000 crore, of which the Centre’s component was Rs. 8,755 crore.

On Chennai floods

The parliamentary panel wanted to know about the Rs. 1,000-crore package announced by the Prime Minister after the Chennai floods last year. “We were told that it was no new money and was derived from the Plan expenditure, already accounted for in the Budget. The Prime Minister is habitual of making grandiose announcements but the reality is that after Chennai floods the demands of the State government were not met. The State has demanded Rs 17,000 crore for long-term projects but the Centre has not acted on it,” said another MP.

The panel was also told that there were 56,000 vacancies in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF).

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 11:06:26 AM |

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