Pathankot attack disturbed Pakistan, India talks: Sharif

Lahore, Jan 30 (IANS) Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday said the terror attack on an Indian Air Force base in Indian Punjab’s Pathankot town disturbed the peace process between Pakistan and India, a media report said.

Sharif, who admitted that matters between the two countries were moving in the right direction, regretted that the January 2 terror strike disturbed the negotiation process, Radio Pakistan reported.

Following the attacks, Indian and Pakistani governments postponed scheduled diplomatic talks till the end of January.

Six terrorists of the now-outlawed Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) group stormed the Indian Air Force base in Punjab’s Pathankot town and killed seven security personnel. They, too, were killed by the Indian security forces.

India sought prompt action against the perpetrators of the attack, sharing “actionable” evidence against Jaish chief Masood Azhar with the Pakistan government. There were reports that Azhar was detained by the security forces.

Sharif then held a high level meeting with security agencies and said a thorough probe be carried out, assuring India that Islamabad was seriously investigating the case and will not hesitate to act if anyone was found guilty.

India whole-heartedly welcomed Pakistan’s move and said it will welcome and help the Pakistani team probe the matter.

Pakistan, however, turned down India’s proposal to jointly interrogate Azhar and other suspects linked to the Pathankot attack.

Pakistan’s Daily Times, in an editorial on Saturday, noted that the Pathankot attack had come “just as the two sides had groped their way back to the negotiating table after initial aggressive intent was on display from the (Narendra) Modi government”.

“On present trends at least, the post-Pathankot scenario has a chilling resemblance to post-Mumbai,” said the daily, referring to the 2008 attack in Mumbai that left 166 people, including many foreigners, dead.

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