A day after Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called up PM Modi and assured action against the perpetrators of dastardly terror attack in Pathankot air base, Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif has admitted that some elements want to “sabotage” the Indo-Pak peace talks through terror acts. According to the agencies probing Pathankot terror attack, all the six gunmen are believed to have sneaked in from the Pakistan territory.
Pitching for cordial ties between the two countries, the Pakistan Defence minister said that those working to sabotage will not succeed in their nefarious designs.
“Some elements want to sabotage the talks process between the two neighbouring countries through such terror acts but they would not succeed in their nefarious designs,” Khawaja Muhammed Asif said.
Speaking in Islamabad, he further added that Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in a telephonic contact have agreed that a cordial relationship was the most appropriate response to the terrorists.
Pakistan Defence minister KM Asif has, however, claimed that Indian leadership has not levelled any allegation on Pakistan regarding the Pathankot airbase terror attack. He further added that Pakistan itself was a victim of terrorism.
Meanwhile, back in India, disparate opinions are still voiced over the dialogue process with Pakistan even as the two neighbour nations are slated to hold a Foreign Secretary level talks this month. Both the Opposition parties as well as BJP’s own ally Shiv Sena have been critical of Modi government’s policy towards Pakistan.
Earlier on Tuesday, in his telephonic conversation with Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister Modi strongly pressed for urgent steps against those responsible for the attack, which began in the wee hours of Saturday. Only on Tuesday morning, the guns went silent. Six terrorists, who had sneaked into the air base were killed by the security forces while, seven Indian security personnel too lost their life in the operation, including a NSG Lt Colonel.
According to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Nawaz Sharif had called on Tuesday afternoon. PM Modi had “strongly emphasized the need for Pakistan to take firm and immediate action against the organizations and individuals responsible for and linked to the Pathankot terrorist attack,” the PMO said in a statement.
The statement released soon after the conversation went on to add that “specific and actionable information in this regard has been provided to Pakistan”.
The Pakistan Prime Minister, on his part, has “assured Prime Minister Modi that his government would take prompt and decisive action against the terrorists,” the PMO said.
Significantly, the phone call from Sharif came as the Pakistan link to the attack became clear. NIA chief Sharad Kumar today said there was “little doubt” that the attackers were from Pakistan, while Union Defence minister Manohar Parikkar added that there are indications that some of equipment used by terrorists were made in Pakistan.
(With inputs from the PTI)