India guarded as Pakistan eyes ice-breaker with terror tip-off

  • HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times, New Delhi/Islamabad
  • Updated: Mar 07, 2016 01:26 IST
An RPF personnel stands on guard at the CST station as a red alert was sounded in Mumbai on Sunday.. (Arijit Sen/HT Photo)

India was guarded in its response on Sunday after Pakistan said its move to inform officials in New Delhi about a militant threat to Gujarat may help improve the “security situation” between the two countries.

Indian authorities did not officially acknowledge Pakistan’s warning that about 10 LeT and JeM militants had possibly sneaked into Gujarat, with experts saying the cautious approach stems from a trust deficit on security issues between the two countries.

New Delhi says Islamabad needs to do more to address India’s concerns over terrorism and expediting the investigation into the deadly attack at Punjab’s Pathankot air base in January.

“There is an inherent danger in isolating non-state actors from all state elements in the context of Pakistan. So, caution and no-response, either way, could save the day,” said an official who did not wish to be named.

The siege at the military facility derailed proposed talks between the foreign secretaries, with India making it clear that the possibility of dialogue hinged on Islamabad clamping down on those behind the attack. No dates have been fixed for the discussions yet.

Defence minister Manohar Parrikar too slammed Pakistan last month for not acting against the perpetrators of the Pathankot and 26/11 Mumbai attacks, saying Islamabad was pretending to be asleep despite the evidence shared by India. A testimony in February by Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Coleman Headley in the Mumbai attacks case turned the spotlight back on Pakistani involvement in militant strikes carried out in India.

Pakistan said dialogue is not a “favour” and is necessary for the two countries to sort out differences and normalise ties. Its interior minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, said in Islamabad on Sunday that Pakistan is serious about countering terrorism and improving cooperation between the two countries.

“We hope that the Indian authorities are able to reciprocate this,” he said.

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