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Working on leads provided by India on Pathankot attack: Pakistan

Terror in Pathankot Updated: Jan 04, 2016 22:25 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Pathankot attack

Indian security personnel in Pathankot on Monday, January 4, 2016.(Sameer Sehgal / HT Photo )

Pakistan said on Monday it is working on leads provided by India regarding the attack on Pathankot airbase, which has been blamed on the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed.

A brief statement issued by Pakistan’s Foreign Office late on Monday night said the two countries continue with a “sustained dialogue process” and adopt a cooperative approach for tackling terrorism.

“In line with Pakistan’s commitment to effectively counter and eradicate terrorism, the government is in touch with the Indian government and is working on the leads provided by it,” the Foreign Office spokesperson said.

The statement did not give details of the leads provided by India though New Delhi is believed to have shared with Islamabad the intercepts of calls made to Pakistan-based handlers by the terrorists who attacked the Pathankot airbase.

Read | Pathankot attack: 5th terrorist eliminated, combing ops to continue

Sources said details of the Pakistani numbers which the attackers had called have also been shared with Pakistani authorities. The attackers made about a dozen calls to Pakistan, the first of which was intercepted on Friday afternoon, the sources said.

While about half a dozen calls were brief and of little consequence, the rest were “significantly long”, the sources said. The leads were provided by the Indian national security adviser to his Pakistani counterpart, the sources added.

Sources in Islamabad said Indian authorities had provided details of the phone intercepts and locations where calls were made.

Top Punjab Police officials earlier told HT that the JeM tag was identified from the intercepted mobile phone calls made by the terrorists to their handlers in Pakistan before they launched the attack.

Read | Final call on Indo-Pak Jan talks after Pathankot ops end: Jaitley

The Foreign Office’s statement reiterated Pakistan’s condemnation of the attack in Pathankot, saying: “We understand the pain of many families who have lost their dear ones in this tragedy, as Pakistan itself is a major victim of terrorism.”

“Living in the same region and with a common history, the two countries should remain committed to a sustained dialogue process. The challenge of terrorism calls for strengthening our resolve to a cooperative approach,” the statement added.

The statement did not, in any way, acknowledge the possible involvement of Pakistan-based elements in the attack which claimed the lives of seven Indian security personnel. Five attackers have also been killed by security forces.

The NSAs of the two sides have played a key role in recent efforts to put bilateral relations on an even keel. Following secret parleys between the NSAs in Bangkok on December 6, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj visited Islamabad for talks with foreign policy chief Sartaj Aziz. The two countries then announced the launch of a new comprehensive dialogue process.