Even as disparate opinions were voiced over the dialogue process with Pakistan, in the midst of the country’s link to Pathankot terror attack, Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday called up his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi assuring action against the perpetrators. In his call to PM Modi, the Pakistan Prime Minister vowed a “prompt and decisive action” against the terrorists behind the strike about which “specific and actionable” information has been provided by India.
During their telephonic conversation, 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.
On the political front too, the government is under pressure from the opposition and its own allies, expecially Shiv Sena, who are raising questions on the renewed focus on the ties with Pakistan even when “nothing has changed”, according to them.
Meanwhile, vital information and leads, like the Pakistani numbers which the attackers had called and their intercepts, are understood to have been passed on by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval. The attackers had reportedly made several calls to Pakistan, some of them brief and some long.
Earlier on Tuesday night, the Pakistan Foreign Ministry claimed that it is working on the leads provided by India on the terror attack.
“We understand the pain of many families who have lost their dear ones in this tragedy, as Pakistan itself is a major victim of terrorism,” Pakistan Foreign ministry said in a statement adding, “In line with Pakistan’s commitment to effectively counter and eradicate terrorism, the Government is in touch with the Indian government and is working on the leads provided by it”.
(With inputs from the PTI)