UK asks Pakistan to speed up probe into Pathankot attack

  • Agencies, Islamabad
  • Updated: Mar 08, 2016 18:25 IST
Pakistan prime minister's advisor on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz (right) and British foreign secretary Philip Hammond arrive for a joint press conference in Islamabad on Tuesday. (AFP)

British foreign secretary Philip Hammond on Tuesday asked India and Pakistan not to allow non-state actors to derail their peace process as he urged Islamabad to speed up its investigation into the Pathankot attack.

Settling the Kashmir issue should not be a precondition for starting the dialogue process between the two countries, Hammond said during a joint news conference with Pakistan foreign policy chief Sartaj Aziz.

“I urge both Pakistan and India not to allow non-state actors and other pressure groups to derail the peace process,” he said.

“I welcome Pakistan’s commitment to vigorously pursue the Pathankot attack investigations and we hope that the country will make progress in the investigation,” said Hammond, who was in Islamabad for a day-long visit.

India has blamed the January 2 terrorist assault on Pathankot airbase on the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

Aziz said a joint investigation team is in the process of completing its probe into the Pathankot attack. “The probe team will visit India in the next few days,” he said.

He further said there is no precondition for a meeting of the foreign secretaries of the two countries. However, he said the meeting could take place only after the Pakistani probe team visits India.

Pakistan had shared intelligence with India about possible terror attacks, Aziz said. “Sharing of intelligence among various nations of the world is a routine practice and this happens around the world. However, this time it was somehow leaked to the media. But this showed Pakistan’s commitment to fight terrorism,” he said.

Hammond lauded Pakistan’s role in the fight against terrorism and said Britain will continue its support for the war on terror.

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