Pathankot Attack Troubled India-Pak Dialogues

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Pathankot Attack Troubled India-Pak Dialogues
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Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday said the attack on an Indian Air Force base in Pathankot disturbed the peace process between Pakistan and India.

Sharif, who admitted that matters between the two countries were moving in the right direction, regretted that the January 2 strike disturbed the negotiation process, Radio Pakistan reported.

Following the attacks, Indian and Pakistani governments postponed scheduled diplomatic talks till the end of January.

"The investigation into the incident is underway and we will make its findings public soon," Sharif said. "Whatever facts come out we will bring them forth before everyone."

Sharif vowed that Pakistan would go to any length to uncover the alleged use of its soil in the attack.

"It is our responsibility to uncover if our soil was used in the attack. We will do this and the ongoing investigations will soon be completed," he said.

Six militants stormed the Indian Air Force base in Punjab's Pathankot town and killed seven security personnel. They, too, were killed by the security forces.

India sought prompt action against the perpetrators of the attack, sharing "actionable" evidence against Jaish chief Masood Azhar with the Pakistan government. There were reports that Azhar was detained by the security forces. 

Sharif then held a high level meeting with security agencies and said a thorough probe be carried out, assuring India that Islamabad was seriously investigating the case and will not hesitate to act if anyone was found guilty.

India whole-heartedly welcomed Pakistan's move and said it will welcome and help the Pakistani team probe the matter.

Pakistan, however, turned down India's proposal to jointly interrogate Azhar and other suspects linked to the Pathankot attack. 

Pakistan's Daily Times, in an editorial on Saturday, noted that the Pathankot attack had come "just as the two sides had groped their way back to the negotiating table after initial aggressive intent was on display from the (Narendra) Modi government".

Meanwhile, Punjab Law Minister RanaSanaullah said none of the 'suspects' arrested in connection with the attack have been charged.

"The investigation team is probing the matter and its findings will be made public," Sanaullah told reporters.

Responding to a question whether any link of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) has been established with the attack, he said: "The investigation team is also probing this."

Sharif had formed a six-member committee headed by Additional Inspector General of Punjab's Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) to investigate the attack in which seven security personnel were killed. IANS/PTI

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