The United States on Tuesday said it ‘expects’ Pakistan to act against Indian air base attackers and target militant groups.
In a terse statement on the Pathankot assault, State Department spokesperson John Kirby urged Pakistan to target militant groups.
The attack on the Pathankot base near the Pakistani border is seen as an attempt to derail recent peace moves by Pakistan and India. The United Jihad Council – a coalition of militant groups fighting Indian rule in Kashmir – has claimed responsibility.
“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,” Kirby said.
According to the BBC, six militants and several Indian soldiers were killed during four days of gun battle between the two sides.
The Pathankot assault started before dawn on Saturday when a group of gunmen – wearing Indian army uniforms – entered the residential quarters on the base.
The attack is being seen as a blow to an apparent Indo-Pakistani peace initiative launched just days ago.
Hopes for a thaw in relations were raised after Indian Premier Narendra Modi paid an unexpected visit to his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 6th, 2016.