John Kerry calls Nawaz Sharif over Pathankot attack, asks to continue India-Pakistan negotiations
New Delhi: The US Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday spoke to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and told the former that talks with India should resume despite the recent terror attack at Punjab's Pathankot airbase. Indian intelligence reports says that the groups and people within Pakistan planned and executed the strike.
According to Zee Media, Nawaz Sharif received a phone call from the United States Secretary of State John Kerry who reportedly told PM Nawaz that India-Pakistan negotiations should continue. He also said during his conversation with Sharif that India and Pakistan’s relations were important for the stability of the region.
A senior State Department official had said, “Pakistan should not come out with lame excuses to shield them as has been the case with the Mumbai terrorist attack.”
"They (Pakistan) have said publicly that they are going to investigate. They have said publicly that they are not going to discriminate between terrorist groups. We look to see actions to back up those words," the official added.
However, Pak PM's advisor on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz had earlier today confirmed that the foreign secretaries of Pakistan and India will meet here on January 15.
Kashmir and all other outstanding issues will be on the agenda when Pakistan and India resume their comprehensive bilateral dialogue, Aziz said in the parliament on Friday.
The announcement came after Pakistan launched investigations into the Pathankot airbase attack, The Nation reported.
India had linked the foreign secretary level talks to Pakistan's action against the militants.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday chaired a meeting regarding Jaish-e-Muhammad organisation's involvement in the attack and Islamabad's response to New Delhi.
After the Pathankot air base attack, Sharif called Modi assuring him of "prompt and decisive" action against groups or individuals linked to the attack.
Seven security personnel were killed in the attack on the IAF base in Pathankot. Six terrorists, suspected to be from Pakistan, were killed during the gunfight that began on January 2.
Pakistan and India will remain in contact as Islamabad believes it needed solid evidence for a stern action.
Talks between India and Pakistan were in danger of being jeopardised when terrorists attacked an Indian Air Force base in Pathankot, last Saturday. Pathankot lies 25 km from the border with Pakistan. India handed over important leads to Pakistan and Nawaz Sharif had assured India that the attack was being investigated.
Giving a clean chit to the security forces for their handling of the counter-offensive against the terrorist attack on the Pathankot IAF base, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who flew in to Pathankot today, just a week after the attack, said he was satisfied with the "decision-making and its execution".
(With Agency inputs)
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