In­dia links talks to Pak ac­tion over Pathankot terror at­tack

New Delhi states its po­si­tion on for­eign secy-level talks, but sets no dead­line

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com Se­cu­rity per­son­nel look for two ter­ror­ists at Gur­daspur.

NEW DELHI: Talks be­tween the for­eign sec­re­taries of In­dia and Pak­istan slated for Jan­uary 15 seemed to be on thin ice as New Delhi on Thurs­day linked the event with “de­ci­sive and prompt” ac­tion by Is­lam­abad on the deadly terror at­tack at the Pathankot air­base.

The for­eign min­istry stated the po­si­tion with­out set­ting a dead­line for Pak­istan, even as Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif dis­cussed the ter­ror­ist strike at a high-level meet­ing in Is­lam­abad. He was re­port­edly briefed about the sta­tus of a ban on the Jaishe-Mo­ham­mad (JeM), which is sus­pected to be be­hind the at­tack.

On Wed­nes­day, Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi told his Cab­i­net col­leagues that bi­lat­eral talks would not re­sume un­til Is­lam­abad took ac­tion against the terror group and he had made this clear dur­ing a phone call with Sharif.

“Ac­tion is a must. We are go­ing to be very strict about it,” Modi was learnt to have said at the meet­ing.

In­dian se­cu­rity agen­cies have iden­ti­fied five key fig­ures from JeM who were in­volved in the con­spir­acy and New Delhi wants Is­lam­abad to act against them. The ter­ror­ists un­der the scan­ner are the group’s chief Maulana Ma­sood Azhar, his brother Rauf As­ghar, Maulana Ash­faq Ah­mad, Hafiz Ab­dul Shakur and Kasim Jan.

Un­like in the 26/11 Mum­bai at­tacks case where it re­mained in con­stant de­nial, Pak­istan has not re­jected In­dia’s as­ser­tions about the role of the terror out­fit in the Pathankot at­tack.

“In­dia wants peace­ful ties with all neigh­bours in­clud­ing Pak­istan but will not coun­te­nance cross­bor­der ter­ror­ism. Ac­tion­able in­tel­li­gence was given to Pak­istan. Ball is in Pak­istan’s court now,” min­istry of ex­ter­nal af­fairs spokesper­son Vikas Swarup told re­porters on Thurs­day.

>> CON­TIN­UED ON P11

KA­MALJIT SINGH KA­MAL/HT

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