Pathankot attack: Nawaz Sharif asks his IB chief to expedite probe

Last Updated: Friday, January 8, 2016 - 22:11
Pathankot attack: Nawaz Sharif asks his IB chief to expedite probe

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has ordered a probe into the leads provided by India about the Pathankot airbase attack , a media report said on Friday.

He chaired a high-level meeting yesterday and discussed the attack on the Indian airbase, The Nation reported. The prime minister and his aides agreed to launch investigations into the evidence provided by India, it said.

A senior official said the leads provided by India were handed over to Intelligence Bureau chief Aftab Sultan for further action.

Addressing the meeting, Prime Minister Sharif said Pakistan was ready to boost cooperation with the neighbouring India as part of counter-terrorism efforts.

Sharif directed National Security Adviser Nasser Khan Janjua to remain in contact with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval in a bid to keep renewed dialogue on track after the attack on Pathankot air base.

Another official said the information provided by India was "not enough" as it was just limited to telephone numbers and Pakistan might ask for additional information.

"We would like to have solid information to build a case for action otherwise courts intervene and the suspects will be bailed out," he added.

He said the meeting agreed that strong action would be taken after probe against anyone found guilty of involvement in the attack. The official said that the meeting also decided to speed up implementation of National Action Plan.

After a second high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in two days, Pakistan on Friday said it has "reviewed progress" on the leads provided by India which has linked Foreign Secretary-level talks to Islamabad's decisive action on the Pathankot terror attack.

"The meeting also discussed the Pathankot attack incident and expressed Pakistan's condemnation of this incident and reiterated Pakistan's commitment to cooperate with India to completely eradicate the menace of terrorism afflicting our region.

"In line with Pakistan's commitment to effectively counter and eradicate terrorism, the meeting reviewed the progress made on the information provided by the Government of India. It was decided to remain in touch with the Government of India in this regard," a statement issued after the meeting by Pakistan Prime Minister's Office said.

Yesterday, India put the ball squarely in Pakistan's court, linking the fate of Foreign Secretary-level talks scheduled for January 15 to Islamabad's "prompt and decisive" action on the Pathankot terror attack for which it has provided "actionable intelligence".

The meetings have been held against the backdrop of India's insistence on action by Pakistan especially when Sharif called Prime Minister Narendra Modi over phone from Colombo and promised "prompt and decisive action" against the terrorists.

The meeting was attended by army chief General Raheel Sharif, Prime Minister's Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, National Security Advisor Lt General (Retd) Nasser Khan Janjua, DG ISI Lt General Rizwan Akhtar and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry among others.

It expressed confidence that building on the goodwill generated by the recent high-level contacts, the two countries would remain committed to a sustained, meaningful and comprehensive dialogue process, the statement said.

The meeting affirmed Pakistan's strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

"It was noted with satisfaction that Pakistan's counter-terrorism campaign had made significant gains and that Pakistan's entire leadership and institutions were working in complete harmony to counter terrorism and extremism," it said.

"The people of Pakistan have evolved a political consensus for action against all terrorists and terrorist organisations without any distinction, and have resolved that no terrorist would be allowed to use Pakistan's soil for committing terrorism anywhere in the world," it added.

In a pre-dawn attack on January 2, a group of heavily-armed Pakistani terrorists, suspected to be belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammed outfit, struck at the Air Force base in Punjab, killing seven security personnel.

PTI
First Published: Friday, January 8, 2016 - 17:11
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