New Delhi: Defence minister Manohar Parrikar said on Tuesday that the militant attack on the air force base in Pathankot had been carried out by “non-state actors” who operate with the support of the Pakistani establishment.
Parrikar was responding to a question by Shiv Sena lawmaker Sanjay Raut, who had asked if the attack was carried out with the help of Pakistan’s army.
“All details will come out in National Investigation Agency probe. In this, non-state actors from Pakistan are certainly involved, that is sure… And any non-state (actor), they can’t function smoothly without state support,” Parrikar said.
Contrary to the past tradition of blaming Pakistan state for every such attacks, India’s response this time has been restrained and measured, especially after Pakistan formed a team to investigate the attack India said was carried out by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad.
The January 2 attack left seven soldiers dead. Six militants, who attacked the base, were killed in a gun battle which lasted almost three days.
Minister of state for Home Kiren Rijiju informed the Lok Sabha that for the “first time,” Pakistan has taken action on terror strikes in India by registering a case to investigate the role of its citizens accused of being involved in the Pathankot attack.