Pak 'cooperating closely' with India on Pathankot probe: Sartaz Aziz
London: 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.
‘Kashmir core issue for Pak’
On Kashmir, Aziz said it remains a core issue for Pakistan, without which no dialogue can start with India. “For us, Kashmir issue remains a core issue, without which no dialogue can start. In the last few years, many different options have been explored in terms of finding a solution acceptable not just to India and Pakistan but also the Kashmiri people. My own feeling is that once the dialogue begins and all options are put on the table, you can always find some common ground," he said.
In response to a question, Aziz made a reference to the alleged activities of RAW in Pakistan. "We have arrested an Indian intelligence operative in Balochistan who was trying to encourage insurgency there. But we still want to resume our composite and comprehensive dialogue, and terrorism is one part of that composite dialogue," he said, referring to the arrest of Kulbhushan Jhadav, who was reportedly detained in Balochistan.
Jhadav has been accused by Pakistan of planning "subversive activities" in the country.
With PTI Inputs