Ex-diplomat urges Pakistan to act against Pathankot plotters

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Islamabad, Jan 12 (IANS) Pakistan’s unwillingness to act against anti-India militants will do more harm to Islamabad “than any enemy could wish for”, a former Pakistani diplomat said in remarks published on Monday.

Ashraf Jehangir Qazi also wrote in the Dawn that many Western analysts believed that the terror attack on the IAF base at Pathankot was “probably planned and supervised from Pakistan by elements with a history of association with the intelligence establishment”.

“If the responses of the rulers of Pakistan convey the message that they are unwilling or unable to control the cross-border activities of anti-India and anti-Kabul jehadis until Kashmir is resolved and Kabul has a ‘friendly’ government, they will do more harm to Pakistan than any enemy could wish for,” said Qazi, a former envoy to the US, China and India.

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“Nor will they help the Kashmiri freedom struggle one iota,” he added.

Qazi said India had provided Pakistan “actionable intelligence” regarding the January 2 attack on the Pathankot Indian Air Force base in Punjab that left seven security personnel dead.

Indian security forces killed all six terrorists who are believed to have come from Pakistan.

New Delhi, Qazi said, wanted satisfactory follow-up action by Pakistan if the foreign secretary talks scheduled in Islamabad on January 15 were to start.

“Reports suggest a number of Nato countries consider the intelligence supplied (including mobile phone conversations between the attackers and suspected handlers in Pakistan, a Jaish-e-Mohammad letter, DNA samples of the attackers, their voice record samples) to be credible leads if not conclusive evidence.

“Pakistan’s international legal obligations require it to follow up on these leads to determine whether or not some elements based in Pakistan were involved in the attack,” the former diplomat said.

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According to Qazi, the US agrees with India that Pakistan must take the leads provided by India seriously.

“Along with India, the US and Nato countries lean to the view that the attack probably was planned and supervised from Pakistan by elements with a history of association with the intelligence establishment, whether with or without its direct or indirect connivance.”

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