India, Pakistan NSAs in touch since Pathankot attack: Minister

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New Delhi, March 9 (IANS) The national security advisors of India and Pakistan continue to remain in touch with each other following the cross-border terror attack on the Pathankot airbase in January this year, the government said on Wednesday.

“The two NSAs have been in touch with each other following the Pathankot attack in January 2016 regarding the follow-up by Pakistan on actionable information provided by India concerning the attack,” Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh said in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.

Seven Indian security personnel lost their lives when terrorists from across the border attacked the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot, Punjab, early on January 2.

The Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) claimed responsibility for the attack in which all the six terrorists also were reportedly killed.

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The attack derailed the proposed foreign secretary-level talks that were scheduled for the middle of January after the two countries agreed in December last year to start a comprehensive bilateral dialogue.

India has since sent “actionable evidence” to the Pakistani authorities to bring the perpetrators of the attack to book.

Pakistan filed an FIR in Gujranwala last month against “unknown” terrorists in connection with the attack.

It also said that it would send a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to India to probe the attack.

In his reply to the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, V.K. Singh said that several terrorist attacks in India, including in Jammu and Kashmir, were perpetrated by infiltrators from Pakistan or Pakistan-administered Kashmir, “benefitting from the terrorist infrastructure existing there”.

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“Recently, there has been a rise in such attacks which include the attack in Gurdaspur (July 27, 2015), Udhampur (August 5, 2015), Pathankot (January 2-4, 2016) and Pampore (February 20-21, 2016),” he stated.

The minister also said that listing of several Pakistan-based individuals, including Hafiz Saeed and Zaki-ur Rahman Lakhvi, and entities including Lashkar-e-Taiba/Jamaat-ud-Dawaa under the relevant provisions of the UN Security Council’s Resolution 1267 was successfully pursued.

“The government continues to pursue imposition and strict monitoring of 1267 regime on various Pakistan-based individuals and terrorist organisations directing their activities against India,” he said.

“Our concerns regarding anti-India terrorism emanating from Pakistan have been taken up with international community and also bilaterally with Pakistan on a number of occasions.”

This concern was also discussed by India’s National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval with his Pakistani counterpart Nasir Khan Janjua when they met in Bangkok on December 6 last year, Singh said.

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“Government remains committed to taking all necessary steps to safeguard safety and security of the country and its citizens,” he added.

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