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Pathankot attack: NSA of India, Pakistan in constant touch, says MEA

New Delhi: Asserting that it was "closely" following the progress in the investigation in Pakistan on the Pathankot terrorist attack, India has said it expects "robust action" from Islamabad to bring the perpetrators to book.External
PTI January 22, 2016 9:30 IST
PTI

New Delhi: Asserting that it was "closely" following the progress in the investigation in Pakistan on the Pathankot terrorist attack, India has said it expects "robust action" from Islamabad to bring the perpetrators to book.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup also dismissed as "baseless" the allegations that India was behind an attack at a university at Charsadda in Pakistan in which at least 20 people, mostly students, were massacred by heavily-armed suicide attackers yesterday.

"The issue is also not been raised officially with us by Pakistan," he said yesterday.

Maintaining that both National Security Advisors and Foreign Secretaries of the two countries were in touch with each other, he said a meeting between S Jaishankar and his counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhary will take at a "mutually convenient date" but refused to put any time frame.

On the visit of a Pakistan SIT in connection with the terror attack, he said the government has not got any information after the first official statement by Pakistan government on a possible visit by an investigation team here and was awaiting for a "firm proposal".

"In principle, we have welcomed the decision of Pakistan government to consider sending a SIT team... rest is matter of details. What they can see? Where they can go? What will be terms of reference? Those need to be worked out by agencies on both sides provided Pakistan government firms up its decision to send the team," he said.

He was asked about comments by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar that a JIT proposed by Pakistan will not be allowed to visit the Pathankot airbase -the site of the terror attack.

"The two NSAs have not met but they have been in touch. We continue to closely follow on the progress in the investigation in Pakistan on the Pathakot terrorist attack... We continue to expect robust action by Pakistan against all the perpetrators," he said.

Reiterating that India has given actionable intelligence to Pakistan, he said, "We are looking for the credible and comprehensive action to bring all the perpetrators of Pathankot terror attack to justice."

Asked if the attacks in Pathankot and near the Indian missions in Afghanistan were part of a coordinated planning by a terror group, he said it would be difficult to say but one thing was clear that terrorism was emerging as the greatest challenge. The distinction between good terrorism and bad terrorism should be removed, he added.

In Islamabad, Foreign Office (FO) spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said, "The Foreign Secretary-level talks between Pakistan and India are going to be held in near future and both sides are in touch on that count."