India puts ball in Pak’s court, seeks action against Pathankot perpetrators

New Delhi, Jan. 7 (ANI): Amid speculations that the Foreign Secretary-level talks could be called off by New Delhi in the wake of the Pathankot terror attack, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday put the ball in Pakistan’s court and said the future course of action would be decided after Islamabad’s response to actionable intelligence provided with regard to the fidayeen strike.

Taking to the media here, MEA official spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the government’s policy towards Pakistan is clear and consistent.

“India wants friendly relations with all its neighbours, including Pakistan. We have extended a hand of friendship to Pakistan, but we will not countenance cross-border terrorist attacks,” Swarup said.

“As you would recall, the decision to commence a comprehensive bilateral dialogue with Pakistan, followed the constructive meeting of the National Security Advisors in Bangkok (Thailand) in which the central concerns of terrorism, peace and security, and tranquillity along the Line of Control (LoC) were discussed,” he added.

The MEA spokesperson said the terrorist attack on the Pathankot air base has once again put renewed focus on the challenge posed by cross-border terrorism.

“As far as we are concerned, the ball is now in Pakistan’s court. The immediate issue in front of us is Pakistan’s response to the terrorist attack and the actionable intelligence that has been provided to it,” he said.

Responding to a poser on whether India is consistent with its policy that terror and talks can’t go together, Swarup said New Delhi has repeatedly emphasized that there must be talks on terror.

“And that is why the National Security Advisors met in Bangkok and they discussed all issues connected to terror,” he said.

Swarup further said India looks forward to the prompt and decisive action promised by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to his counterpart Narendra Modi.

“Right now for us, the immediate priority is there was a conversation between our Prime Minister and his Pakistani counterpart. During that conversation, our Prime Minister very strongly told the Prime Minister of Pakistan to take action,” said Swarup.

“Actionable intelligence in regard to the terrorist attacks and the links with the perpetrators in Pakistan was provided to the Pakistani side. The Pakistani Prime Minister promised us prompt and decisive action. We now await that,” he added.

India has extended a hand of friendship to Pakistan, but she would not continence cross-border terrorist attack. The terrorist attack on the Pathankot air base has once again put renewed focus on the challenge pose by cross-border terrorism.

The proposed talks between the Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan in Islamabad January 14 and 15 may be delayed by New Delhi in the wake of the Pathankot terror attack that claimed lives of seven military personnel and left 20 others injured. (ANI)

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