Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday assured his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi that Pakistan will take “prompt and decisive action” against the terrorists responsible for the Pathankot attack, the external affairs ministry said.
Sharif, currently on a visit to Sri Lanka, gave the assurance when he called Modi to discuss the attack. The two leaders spoke hours after a conversation between India’s national security adviser Ajit Doval and his counterpart Naseer Khan Janjua.
Taking a strong stand, Modi emphasised the need for Pakistan to take “firm and immediate action” against organisations and individuals responsible for the Pathankot attack on the basis of “specific and actionable information” provided by India, said a statement from the external affairs ministry spokesperson.
Sharif assured Modi “his government would take prompt and decisive action against the terrorists”, the statement added.
A statement issued by the Pakistani premier’s office quoted Sharif as saying: “Our government was working on the leads and information provided by the Indian government.” Sharif said Pakistan “would investigate this matter”.
The brazen attack on Pathankot airbase, blamed by Indian authorities on the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed, left seven security personnel dead. At least six attackers were also killed.
Reports have suggested that India has linked a planned meeting of the foreign secretaries on January 15 to action being taken against the JeM.
According to the Pakistani statement, Sharif pointed out to Modi that “whenever a serious effort to bring peace between (the) two countries was underway, terrorists try to derail the process”. Sharif also “appreciated the maturity” shown by the Indian government in its statements.
“Both the PMs agreed that a cordial and cooperative relationship between the two countries would be the most appropriate response to the nefarious designs of the terrorists,” the statement said.
Sources said New Delhi had shared with Islamabad intercepts of calls made to Pakistan-based handlers by the terrorists who attacked the airbase. Details of the Pakistani numbers which the attackers called were also shared with Pakistani authorities.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office earlier said the two countries should continue with a “sustained dialogue process” and adopt a cooperative approach for tackling terrorism.
The US has said it expects Pakistan to bring to justice the elements responsible for the Pathankot attack without discriminating between terrorist groups during its operations.
Referring to the discussions between the prime ministers and the NSAs, an Indian official said: “These conversations amply reflect India’s concerns over the Pakistan-based group staging a daring attack in Pathankot. There are enough leads for Pakistan to follow up on and take action. They need to match their words with action.”