Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged Pakistan to take immediate action after the attack on an Indian air force base in Pathankot.
Modi “strongly emphasised the need for Pakistan to take firm and immediate action against the organisations and individuals responsible for and linked to the Pathankot terrorist attack,” the Indian government said in a statement, after Modi spoke by telephone to Nawaz Sharif.
“PM Nawaz called Modi to convey sorrow and grief on the loss of life in Pathankot terror attack,” a PM House statement said. “PM stated that terrorists always try to derail the peace process between the two countries.”
Further, the PM was quoted as saying that Pakistan will investigate in detail on the leads and information provided by the government of India. “Both the premiers showed resolve to fight out terrorism together through mutual cooperation,” the statement added.
Modi’s office said New Delhi had given Islamabad “specific and actionable information” on the audacious attack, which came just days after a landmark visit to Pakistan by the Indian premier raised hopes of improved relations.
Security officials suspect the gunmen — five of whom were killed — belonged to the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed, the group that staged a 2001 attack on the Indian parliament which brought the two countries to the brink of war.
In a statement, Modi’s office said Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Nawaz had telephoned him to discuss the attack on the Pathankot base in the northern state of Punjab near the border with Pakistan.
Modi “strongly emphasised the need for Pakistan to take firm and immediate action against the organisations and individuals responsible for and linked to the Pathankot terrorist attack,” said the statement.
“Specific and actionable information in this regard has been provided to Pakistan.” It said Nawaz had given assurances that his government would take “prompt and decisive action”.
Earlier Pakistan said it was 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.
Further, the United States on Tuesday said it ‘expects’ Pakistan to act against Indian air base attackers and target militant groups.
Moreover, Modi held a meeting with top officials, including national security adviser Ajit Doval and foreign secretary S Jaishankar to discuss the incident.