NEW DELHI/ISLAMABAD: Indian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup on Thursday said the Indian government welcomes Pakistan’s move to form a special investigation team to probe the Pathankot air base attack and will cooperate with Pakistan in the inquiry.
“We look forward to the visit of Pakistan SIT and our investigative agencies will extend all necessary cooperation,” said Vikas Swarup while talking to media persons.
“The Pakistani government has taken some steps which we have welcomed,” the spokesman said.
The Indian foreign ministry spokesperson expressed hope that Pakistan will continue its investigations into the airbase attack and bring all perpetrators to justice.
Answering another question regarding Pakistan’s offer to send a SIT, Swarup stated that India welcomes Pakistan’s offer, but the modalities of SIT’s visit, their mandate and access to information will be decided at a later date.
Swarup also said the expected meeting between India and Pakistan’s foreign secretaries has been rescheduled to “some time in the near future”.
“Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue with Pakistan is not on hold. Both Foreign Secretaries agreed to meet in very near future,” he added without mentioning the date.
“The foreign secretary spoke to his Pakistani counterpart and they agreed to reschedule talks in the near future.”
He said the Indian intelligence agencies will work with Pakistan and provide all support. “Action taken against Jaish-e-Mohammad is an important and positive first step.”
The Foreign Secretary-level dialogue between India and Pakistan may not take place on January 15 as planned earlier, though the Ministry of External Affairs is yet to announce the status of the talks officially, The Hindu reports.
Pakistani security agencies undertook several law and order initiatives in the last 72 hours against Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), which is accused by India of carrying out the terror strike in Pathankot. However the reported detention of Jaish’s chief Maulana Masood Azhar has not elicited a warm response from India.
At least seven Indian military personnel were killed in the first week of January during an explosion and days long gun battle at India’s Pathankot air base near the border with Pakistan.
The attack took place a week after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a stopover in Lahore to wish Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on his birthday and attend the latter’s granddaughter’s wedding at Jati Umra.
Prime Minister Nawaz had later assured Modi that Islamabad would not hesitate to take “prompt and decisive action” if the involvement of Pakistan-based elements in the attack on the Indian airbase was proved beyond doubt. NNI