NEW DELHI: Is the Pakistani state involved in the Pathankot terror attacks? While the Director General National Investigation Agency (NIA) Sharad Kumar had in an interview to CNN News18 claimed that so far there is no evidence to show Pakistan's role in Pathankot attacks, the Ministry of External Affairs says the neighbouring country is behind the strike.

Kumar’s interview has also forced the NIA into a damage control mode. In a statement released to the media on Friday, the NIA said, "The observations attributed to DG NIA on the CNN-NEWS 18 channel today as regards Pathankot investigations and Samjhauta case investigation are strongly refuted."

However, when CNN-News18 confronted the NIA with the exact transcript of the interview, it issued a correction. “There is a correction. The above message maybe re-read as follows. The observations of DG, NIA as regards the role of Pakistan govt/agencies has been misquoted," the agency said.

The NIA DG had in own handwriting stated that 'so far' there is no evidence against government of Pakistan so far.

On the other hand the MEA, too, claims that there is ample proof of Pakistani state involvement in fomenting and facilitating terror attacks against India, including the January 2016 strike at the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot.

The DG's statement had also been a shot in the arm for Pakistan which claimed its stand has been vindicated. "The statement of the DG NIA, government of India vindicated Pakistan position on the issue," Pakistan spokesperson Nazeer Zakaria said.

Meanwhile, opposition parties have been quick to attack the Narendra Modi government for giving Pakistan a clean chit.

"India is suffering at the cost of Pakistan-sponsored terror for decades now known at international platform, challenging the sovereignty of our country. Giving a clean chit to Pakistan for Pathankot has weakened India's battle against terrorism nationally and internationally. Successive statements from Modi have put us on a backfoot. Going for birthday and marriage to Pakistan, to let the JIT visit India. The same JIT went to Pakistan and accused Indian government. Now NIA chief has made a preposterous statement," Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal also attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and accused him of bowing down to Pakistan. "No other PM in the history of independent India knelt before Pak like this," he tweeted.

On the other hand the MEA, too, claims that there is ample proof of Pakistani state involvement in fomenting and facilitating terror attacks against India, including the January 2016 strike at the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot.