Explain official stand: India tells Pakistan following Basit’s comments, Ajit Doval speaks to Pak NSA
New Delhi: India has taken strong objection to the comments by Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit saying that the probe into the Pathankot terror attack was not a question of reciprocity but that of cooperation and that the peace process between the two countries was “suspended for now”.
India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval today spoke to his Pakistani counterpart Nasir Khan Jhanjua and sought Pakistan’s official stand on the issue. Ajit Doval told Jhanjua that either Pakistan reject and condemn the comments made by Basit or India would be forced to toughen its stand on its engagement with Pakistan.
Doval, sources said, told Jhanjua that failure to express the government’s stand on the matter could have a negative impact on other issues as well. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is expected to visit Pakistan later this year to attend the SAARC Summit, may decide against it if Pakistan sticks to the stand conveyed by its diplomat here.
The central government is of the opinion that if Pakistan does not agree with the comments made by its envoy here, it should move to recall him.
According to sources, Jhanjua informed Doval that the Pakistani government would soon clear its stand to the comments made by Basit. He is also believed to have told Doval that Pakistan was keen on continuing the peace process with India and cooperate in the probe into the Pathankot attack.
The call from Doval came following a series of high-level meetings between officials of the Home Ministry and the NSA over Pakistan’s apparent denial to India’s official request to allow an NIA team to visit Pakistan regarding the Pathankot attack probe.
Rejecting Pakistani envoy's comment on NIA visit to Pakistan, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju today said such statements will not help in improving relations between the two countries.
"We reject the statement given by the Pakistan High Commissioner. What he has said is wrong. It will not help in improving relations between the two countries," the Minister of State for Home told reporters earlier today.
Rijiju's statement came in response to Basit’s comments on reciprocity that indicated that Indian investigators may not be allowed to visit Pakistan to pursue the probe in connection with the Pathankot attack.
However, India countered it by saying that before the visit of the Pakistani Joint Investigation Team here, both sides had agreed that it would be on the basis of reciprocity.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that PM Modi, who is currently out of Delhi, has been briefed over the developments. He will be briefed in detail once he returns, said Home Ministry sources.