Pakistan will soon be seeking more ‘material and undeniable’ evidence from India on the Pathankot air base attack, including finger prints and audio recordings, to carry out an investigation against terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), believed to be behind the strike.
India says it has shared ‘actionable intelligence’ with its neighbour but a Pakistani government official told HT that their national security adviser Naseer Janjua has already told his Indian counterpart, Ajit Doval, that the mobile numbers India shared are not registered in Pakistan.
“We want India to give us the finger prints of the terrorists and the audio recordings of the intercepted phone calls,’’ the official told HT, adding “It is very difficult for us to go after Jaish without these.”
The two NSAs have spoken thrice since the attack on the air base in Punjab’s Pathankot on January 2 left seven soldiers and six extremists dead.
Doval gave the mobile numbers to Janjua when they first spoke on January 2, HT has learnt.
Pakistan now says the finger prints will help them as they can try and verify them through their biometric system.
“The voice samples will also help us in our investigation and we can also play out the recording to the mother who purportedly received a call from her son,’’ an official said.
The process of seeking more evidence from India will likely mean a rescheduling of the foreign-secretary level dialogue slated for January 15.
New Delhi has made it clear the talks can only take place if Pakistan takes ‘prompt and decisive’ action against the JeM.
India, however, has also indicated it is willing to give Pakistan more time, as stated by Union home minister Rajnath Singh.
There is “no reason to distrust them so early”, the minister said, adding, “We should all wait (for Pakistani action).”
Indian officials are not sure if Pakistan is seeking to buy time or is indeed serious about taking action against the JeM based on the leads it is sharing.
India, on its part, is keeping up the heat on Pakistan.
The press conference by the ministry of external affairs spokesperson, in which the government tied the future of the dialogue to action by Pakistan, was held after Janjua conveyed to India that the Pakistani numbers provided by them were not registered.
“What stops Pakistan from going through the call records of the numbers?” an Indian official asked.