India links Islamabad to deadly air base attack

Published: March 1, 2016
Indian security personnel stand guard next to a barricade outside the Indian Air Force (IAF) base at Pathankot in Punjab, India, January 2, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

Indian security personnel stand guard next to a barricade outside the Indian Air Force (IAF) base at Pathankot in Punjab, India, January 2, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI: India linked on Tuesday Pakistan to a militant attack on an air base that killed seven soldiers in January.

India had previously blamed militants from the extremist  group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) for the assault on Pathankot air base in the northern state of Punjab, which triggered two days of gunbattles.

But on Tuesday New Delhi said the militants could not have carried out the brazen attack on the air base near the border without Pakistan’s support.

Pathankot assault: No reason to distrust Pakistan, says Indian home minister

“Pakistan’s non-state actors were definitely behind the attack. Also, no non-state actor from there (Pakistan) can function smoothly without the state’s support,” Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar told  parliament.

“The entire details of the attack will only come out in the National Investigation Agency (NIA) investigation,” he said.

The NIA, a federal police unit that investigates terror offences, is carrying out a probe into the case.

The rare targeting of an Indian military installation outside the disputed region of Kashmir came days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise visit to Pakistan in December.

India launches combing operation near Pathankot base

It led to the postponement of peace talks planned between the nuclear-armed arch-rivals, with Modi urging his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif to take “firm and immediate action”.

The foreign secretaries of the two countries had been scheduled to meet in January. No fresh date has been announced.

The federal government banned JeM in 2002, a year after it was blamed for an attack on the Indian parliament that took the two neighbours to the brink of war.

It also arrested the group’s leader in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks but he was later released.

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Reader Comments (28)

  • Haji Atiya
    Mar 1, 2016 - 5:36PM

    “non-state actors”, like in NGOs ?Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Mar 1, 2016 - 6:00PM

    Like a four legged creature running after its own tail in circles, the Indian Mantra of blaming Pakistan is becoming predictable and extremely boring. JAT stir, The SIKH stir, MAOIST stir , NEPAL & Sirilanka standing up to INDIAN bullying as well as over 11000 farmers committing suicide every year along with over 400 million people living below poverty line (33% of global poor) is also because of Pakistan. Recommend

  • TAK
    Mar 1, 2016 - 6:43PM

    So finally it comes the “BLAME”, so where do we go from here. Recommend

  • Jameel ur Rasheed
    Mar 1, 2016 - 8:18PM

    Just when the Pakistani investigation team is going to see what actually happened on ground, the Indians had to make such a statement. Clearly, they don’t want Pakistanis to go into the depth of it. I can make a call to anyone in India or anyone in India can make a call to me but that doesn’t prove a connection of either way respondent to the caller. That’s actually what Indian investigators are basing their findings on. Pathetic.Recommend

  • wiserneighbour
    Mar 1, 2016 - 8:39PM

    Obviously! its a known fact for ages!but what you are gonna do about it?wait for another one?Recommend

  • Kushal
    Mar 1, 2016 - 9:13PM

    Huh? Wats new about it? Only dismantling of Pakistani state will put an end to this policy.Recommend

  • MJ
    Mar 1, 2016 - 9:28PM

    In 2011 Indian sent Taliban blew up two Orion anti Submarine aircraft at a base in Karachi. Remember that … always.Recommend

  • Korn
    Mar 1, 2016 - 9:33PM

    Pakistan’s contribution to the world – Non state actors who are on the State’s payroll.Recommend

  • Khan
    Mar 1, 2016 - 10:30PM

    Well that proves that Hindustan was involved in all the attacks that happened on Pakistani Military installations.Recommend

  • Point
    Mar 1, 2016 - 10:36PM

    india has lost its mind from head to toe. Going desperate for every senseless statement in order to stop F16 of which india already seems to carry a lot of fear. Recommend

  • Sam
    Mar 1, 2016 - 10:49PM

    And corrupt politicians don’t have courage to expose Indian involvement in Balochistan. Keep selling country. Recommend

  • Raza
    Mar 1, 2016 - 10:58PM

    Funny how Modi did’nt know this when he visited the Pak PM?Recommend

  • buga
    Mar 1, 2016 - 11:25PM

    India is obviously embarrassed that a handful of militants were able to storm one of it’s airbases – that doesn’t mean that Pakistan govt was involved. Lax security and inept response isn’t something Pakistan should be held responsible for.Recommend

  • Sandip
    Mar 1, 2016 - 11:33PM

    @Ahmed: There is another two legged creature – Ostrich. The best it can do is to bury its head in the sand and think that the problem doesn’t exist. Your rants mirror that behaviour.Recommend

  • John B
    Mar 2, 2016 - 12:52AM

    Based on what is going on in Rawalpindi funeral march, India should be the least of the worries for PAK. Recommend

  • Ares
    Mar 2, 2016 - 12:55AM

    Pakistan arrest all kind of terrorist, United Jihad Council themselves accepted their role in Pathankot attack but still Pakistan is blameless? Logic anyone?Recommend

  • NHA
    Mar 2, 2016 - 1:37AM

    It is time to give up on India. It will never be able to overcome its prejudices and hatred of Pakistan. We better focus on the West and Central Asia who are more open to reason and logic. The CPEC has further encouraged them to look East and come closer to Pakistan.

    Friendship, even a semblance of it, is a burden which Pakistan can not carry too far. The US and others must recognize this and let Pakistan deal with India as it deems fit. Asking Pakistan to lower its defense & deterrence thresholds on behest of India is asking the impossible.

    One thing the world must recognise is that Indians lack principles. Recommend

  • Sarfaraz
    Mar 2, 2016 - 3:15AM

    @Sam: Support people of Balochistan and Sindh by asking Punjab not to steal their natural resources and stop flow of foreign illegal migrants from Punjab, KPK, Afghanistan, Iran, Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal and India to their areas, and I tell you that India would find none from there to be used for destabilizing Pakistan. Recommend

  • True
    Mar 2, 2016 - 3:28AM

    What else they can do!Recommend

  • Faisal Afzal
    Mar 2, 2016 - 3:54AM

    With this logic, what might Islamabad gain from this?Recommend

  • Tommy Gunn
    Mar 2, 2016 - 4:18AM

    @buga: Pakistan has had way more attacks on military installations than India so it should be a lot more embarrassed. Anyways nothing can ever be more embarrassing to a nation than Abottabad 2011.Recommend

  • Hajji123
    Mar 2, 2016 - 5:07AM

    It is an inside job and now they blame us!Recommend

  • JD
    Mar 2, 2016 - 5:28AM

    Even though India might have very weak evidence but it is always their perspective that is propagated to the world(especially western) media, not ours. Their blame games serves only one purpose and that is to portray Pakistan as a heaven for terrorism and they have succeeded in it.Recommend

  • Salman
    Mar 2, 2016 - 5:42AM

    Indian politicians do point scoring unless blame Pakistan. Recommend

  • fact is fact
    Mar 2, 2016 - 7:46AM

    @Kushal: and how wud u propose to do that?Recommend

  • buga
    Mar 2, 2016 - 7:57AM

    @Tommy Gunn: @buga: Pakistan has had way more attacks on military installations than India so it should be a lot more embarrassed. Anyways nothing can ever be more embarrassing to a nation than Abottabad 2011.
    So what’s you point? Pakistan didn’t blame India for the attacks on it’s military installations or Abbottabad. Recommend

  • Afzal
    Mar 3, 2016 - 6:56PM

    When America asks Pakistan to go easy on its ‘deterrence’ work against India it really only means to appease and reassure its newly acquired ally. The fact is, and Indians know it, that America never wants Pakistan to be a weak country as that would not be in their best interest. Keeping Pakistan strong will maintain a degree of intimidation to the Indians, thus softening them and keeping them compliant to favourable deals. America has left it to both India and Pakistan to deal with each other and until India acts maturely and shows willingness to resolve bilateral issues Jihadis (read non- state actors) will always cross over and continue supporting the K freedom fighters. Pakistan has no mechanism to stop them nor can the Indians do any thing. Recommend

  • Sandip
    Mar 7, 2016 - 8:52AM

    “Keeping Pakistan strong will maintain a degree of intimidation to the Indians”
    Being intimidated by a country that we broke into two and whose 90000+ soldiers we kept as PoWs for 3 years? What have you been smoking buddy?Recommend

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