The United States on Tuesday said it ‘expects’ Pakistan to act against Indian air base attackers and target militant groups.
As Indian security forces continued combing through the sprawling air force base in Pathankot, a Kashmir-based coalition of militant groups the United Jihad Council (UJC) on Monday claimed responsibility for the brazen attack, which is seen as an attempt to derail relations between Pakistan and India.
“The government of Pakistan has spoken very powerfully on this and it’s our expectation that they’ll treat this exactly the way they’ve said they would. We have been clear with the highest levels of the government of Pakistan that it must continue to target all militant groups,” the state department’s John Kirby said.
Three days on from an assault that killed seven military personnel and wounded 22, five attackers have also been eliminated, but one attacker remained in the complex.
Pakistan working on Indian ‘leads’
A statement by the Foreign Office said that Pakistan is working on the ‘leads’ provided by the Indian government about the Pathankot air base attack in a significant move that may help keep the fragile thaw in frosty relations between the two neighbours intact.
“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,” the statement said.
The statement came hours after a Kashmiri separatists’ alliance, the UJC, claimed responsibility for the Pathankot attack, although the Indian media insists the attackers were members of the banned Jaish-e-Muhammad militant group.
Officially, India has not yet pointed finger at Pakistan. The National Security Guard (NSG), which leading the operation at the base, merely said it was a Fidayeen attack – which means the attackers knew they were going to their death. “These terrorists had come well prepared and were heavily armed” the NSG said in a short briefing.
This article originally appeared on BBC