The Pakistani establishment supports the "non-state actors" who carried out the terror attack on the Pathankot Air Force base in India on Jan. 2, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said in Parliament Tuesday. The Indian authorities have accused Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group of perpetrating the attack.
Parrikar's statement came in response to a question by Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, who asked if the attack was carried out with the support of the Pakistani Army.
"The complete details will come out in the NIA investigation. But in this, non-state actors from Pakistan are surely involved. This is for sure. Any non-state actors there, they cannot function smoothly without full state support," Parrikar said, according to Press Trust of India.
Parliament was also informed that Pakistan had registered a case to investigate the role of its citizens in the Pathankot terror attack, PTI reports. Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said in the Lok Sabha that Pakistan had taken action on the Pathankot case for the first time by registering a case.
A Modi government official reiterated Tuesday that Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar was behind the Pathankot terror attack.
"Based on intelligence inputs received prior to the attack, and the subsequent investigation into the Pathankot terrorist attack by the NIA, it has been disclosed that the terrorists belonged to the Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist outfit based in Pakistan. There is also evidence on record that this terrorist attack was planned by JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar and others," Minister of State in Home Ministry Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said in a written reply.
Pakistan had on Feb. 19 registered an FIR against unnamed people for the Pathankot terror attack. Last week, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz had told the Indian media that Masood Azhar had been kept under "protective custody."
Six Pakistani terrorists had attacked the Pathankot base on Jan. 2, leaving six Indian security personnel dead.