Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Monday that no permission was granted to the Pakistani joint investigation team to visit the Pathankot airbase, which was attacked by terrorists in January.
Answering a question at a press conference at the DefExpo 2016, he said the Ministry had denied the team permission to go anywhere in the airbase. The site where the attack took place had been handed over to the National Investigation Agency, and “it was up to them [the NIA] to decide who should be allowed and who should not.”'
“The Defence Ministry has issued instructions that the spot where the crime had taken place should be barricaded and no visual allowed. The area has already been separated from the airbase, and is non-functional. Therefore, whether the joint investigation team will be taken to the crime scene or not is to be answered by the NIA. As far as our Ministry is concerned, we have issued directions that the crime scene be barricaded and visually obstructed and external entry given to the NIA alone. If I do not permit them this freedom to investigate, any failure of the investigation will be blamed on us,” he said.
Mr. Parrikar said the Pakistani team was denied permission to land at the airbase, to use defence vehicles and speak to defence personnel. “Now what the NIA shares with the investigation team and where it takes it is their decision,” he said.