Pathankot attack: Dialogue with Pakistan not suspended, says India
New Delhi: India on Friday said that the dialogue process with Pakistan has not been suspended and the visit of Pakistan’s Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the Pathankot airbase attack was “very constructive”.
The dialogue process (between India and Pakistan) has not been suspended: Vikas Swarup, MEA pic.twitter.com/9R4E0HU3sB
— ANI (@ANI_news) April 22, 2016
JIT’s visit to Pathankot came in a “in a very constructive and cooperative environment”, external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said at a media briefing here.
“We welcome cooperation to combat terrorism in all its forms,” he added.
Swarup also stressed that the dialogue process with Islamabad “has not been suspended”.
On Wednesday, Pakistan’s top diplomat Sartaj Aziz has said that his country was ‘cooperating closely’ with India on the investigations in a terror attack case on a key air force base in Pathankot earlier this year.
“We are now pursuing those investigations fully,” Aziz, who is also PM Nawaz Sharif’s adviser on foreign affairs, said while speaking at Chatham House here last evening on ‘A Strategic Vision of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy’.
“Our relations with India continue to challenge our dream of a peaceful neighbourhood. Following the visit of the Indian External Affairs Minister in December last year, we agreed in principle to bilateral dialogue - which was previously called composite and now it is called comprehensive dialogue. But then the Pathankot attack happened in January,” he said.
Pakistan had earlier sent a team to India which visited both New Delhi and the site of attack in Pathankot. India and Pakistan had deferred their foreign secretary-level talks to ‘very near future’ after the Pathankot attack.
Meanwhile, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has said that it was ready to visit Pakistan to take forward its probe into the deadly terror attack at the Pathankot IAF base.
According to NIA sources, the agency is now waiting for a written clearance order from Pakistani authorities regarding their visit.
The latest development holds significance as it came against the backdrop of Aziz’s remark hinting that Islamabad may consider a request by India for a visit by its NIA team, days after top Pakistani envoy ruled out the same.