Pathankot probe: India calls Pakistan action positive first step, says Secy talks deferred to ‘near future’

India deferred a decision on the talks apparently because of lack of confirmation on Azhar's arrest. There is speculation that the NSAs of the two countries may meet before the FS-level talks.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Updated: January 15, 2016 8:35 am
vikas swarup759 MEA spokersperson Vikas Swarup

Describing Pakistan’s crackdown against Jaish-e-Muhammad members linked to the Pathankot attack as an “important and positive first step”, India and Pakistan agreed Thursday to reschedule Foreign Secretary-level talks, planned for January 15, and hold them in the “very near future”.

In a first, India also agreed to host Pakistan’s Special Investigation Team (SIT), which has been formed by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Indian intelligence agencies will cooperate with their Pakistan counterparts. This is very different from the post-26/11 investigations when India did not agree to the idea of having Pakistani investigators in Mumbai.

Analysis: India-Pak Foreign Secretary Level Talks Deferred

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar spoke to Pakistan counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhary Thursday and they decided to defer the talks with “mutual consent”, Vikas Swarup, spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, said. The decision was taken after National Security Advisor Ajit Doval met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his return from Paris.

Asked why have the talks been rescheduled if India was welcoming the Pakistani action against Jaish, Swarup said the Foreign Secretaries felt that more time was required before they meet “away from the shadow” of the investigations into the Pathankot terror strike.

On India’s bottomline for the Foreign Secretaries to meet — discuss the modalities of resumption of the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue process — Swarup said, “We are looking for credible and comprehensive action to bring all the perpetrators of the Pathankot terror attack to justice.”

He refused, however, to link the arrest or detention of Jaish chief Maulana Masood Azhar to the Foreign Secretary-level talks.

Sources told The Indian Express that reports of arrest or detention of Masood Azhar was just a “ruse”. New Delhi, sources said, wants Pakistan to show them copies of FIRs and sections of the Pakistan law under which Azhar has been arrested or taken into custody.

“We will go by what objective evidence we see on the ground, not empty statements. So far, what Pakistan has done, we welcome,” Swarup said.

In Islamabad, Pakistan also declined to confirm the arrest or detention of Azhar. “I am not aware of such arrests,” Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilluah said.

Also Read | Pak on dangerous road, God’s army won’t feel my absence: Jaish chief Masood Azhar goes online

Swarup said the statement issued by the Pakistan government Wednesday on the investigations into the Pathankot attack conveyed that “considerable progress” had been made in the probe against terrorist elements linked to the strike.

“The action taken against JeM is an important and positive first step. We also note that the government of Pakistan is considering to send a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the Pathankot terror attack. We look forward to the visit of the Pakistani SIT and our investigative agencies will extend all necessary cooperation to bring the perpetrators of the attack to justice,” Swarup said.

He rejected reports of the NSAs of the two countries meeting in Paris. He said the NSAs were in regular touch.

Swarup said the dialogue process, which started with the NSAs meeting in Bangkok and continued with the External Affairs Minister’s visit to Islamabad and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s brief visit to Lahore, was in “danger” because of the terrorist attack in Pathankot.

The spokesperson said that the action by Pakistan on the Pathankot terror strike was “in line” with their own commitment to get rid of terrorism.

Asked about US President Barack Obama’s State of The Union address in which he said Pakistan was a terror haven, Swarup refused comment.

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  1. M
    Jan 14, 2016 at 7:19 pm
    (Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Vikas Sawrup told journalists that the statement issued by the stan government yesterday on the investigations into the Pathankot attack conve that “considerable progress” has been made in the probe against ....) Literally, this is first time India also behaving as someone who has come out of teenage years. In the past one could see usually Bollywood dialogs making bedrocks of "diplomacy" - ending in a compeion with aim who could "score" more! Yes, there is nondenyingbyhevfact that mature public who make more and more sense will automatically force their otherwise childish leaders (if they have not learned the lesson before they became leaders) to behave a little better and in a matured fashion. Another option: working together to create a SAARC anti-terrorism Task Force by India, stan, Bangladesh and other countries in the body will be a another step in right direction. Others, instead of helping individual countries in anti terror fight can of course strengthen a legitimate SAARC body (if created) to do the job with more responsibility/authenticity that will ultimately add to the brighter image of the people of the region as a w. Everyone will feel part of the solution and all good people in the region will automatically put their weight behind something which no individual person or even a individual country can deny (at least for fear of perception war or even for fear of backlash).
    1. M
      Jan 14, 2016 at 6:57 pm
      Take the wind out of stani and Indian "stani" (opposition) sail on Pak's request.
      1. M
        Jan 14, 2016 at 6:44 pm
        Very good and matured approach by India. Don't GIVE or NOT GIVE any reasons to others to blame India. Next of course would be to ask whoever giving resources to stan to fight terrorism, allocate part of it to India so it can put it to some good and sensible use. In fact whatever stan gets as help and aid one day it will use it against India - a sensible step must be taken before that happens.
        1. G
          Jan 14, 2016 at 8:23 am
          One thing can be said with certainty, the stan army is full with fundamental ideology. In fact it can convert itself as is army or taliban army.the army is the real power in stan. They continue to play a low grade war just because they are worried about the impact from USA , Russia and even China.pak has no future,only death and destructions
          1. A
            Jan 14, 2016 at 11:12 am
            After Modiji became the prime minister India became the No 1 !!!!! Army, Navy and air force in the world with which even USA and China is afraid off. This is apart from the most modernized weapons which are also sold to US Europe and China.
            1. V
              Jan 15, 2016 at 12:05 am
              So now, modi and his mindless cheerGirls are desperate to praise stan and ISI on the slightest pretext ! "talks and terror cannot go together " - they pompously claimed only a few months ago . Not only can "talks and terror" go together , but our spineless and cowardly 56 cm mouse has also agreed to discuss Jammu and Kashmir during the NSA talks at bangkok. After all the U-turns , devoid of all the bluster and bombast , they stoop to gutlessly praise stan while the families of our martyred soldiers remain in mourning.
              1. D
                Dinesh Sampat
                Jan 15, 2016 at 12:01 am
                MEA India must stop glazing this matter and instead, call spade a spade. There should be NO further talks with stan until there is action and delivery on prosecution of the culprits.....period, period, period and period.
                1. d
                  Jan 14, 2016 at 1:29 pm
                  Hijrabazi zindabad
                  1. E
                    Jan 15, 2016 at 8:07 am
                    Some of the friends are asking for Israel type retaliation. Are we equipped in such a way? Whether it will be economical? Most probably No. Enticing people in India against stan or vice versa is always political gainful and it has been done since decades. Presently, we are little bit fortunate in India, that some of us have started to understand it. Beside it, we are further fortunate that there is not any such burning issue from which Modi govt. will try to divert the attention of m in name of Patriotism. So in present scenario in right direction move has taken place, without accusing each other. Moreover, if we go in depth we will find that who made this attack possible. Our own men, Our SP from Punjab is in question. Corruption is rampant, which further facilitating drug smuggling. Go to Punjab, easily you can find insight. Drug smuggling is not possible without help of persons in power( guess yourself). Corruption and Drug smuggling are raising in symbiosis. It further facilitate terrorism. Security advisors have also stated that if local crime can be stopped by lit can also stop terrorism. If police fail in local crime, it would never ever will possible to stop terrorism. We have seen the news that Locals in adjoining areas of air base, used to enter the premises after paying as low as Rs. 20 to security guards to graze their cattle and to go to CSD canteen. So, its futile to accuse stan. First we have to plug our big s, other wise we can't avet such incidents. Talk is part of diplomacy. In Pak situation is much worsen. There army, Government, politicians are not in harmony. It's failed state.
                    1. P
                      Priya Singh
                      Jan 14, 2016 at 10:58 am
                      Indian Government Decision should not get influenced with Compulsion from International Country especially from USA. This time let convey strong message to this culprit as well as their backer.
                      1. P
                        Jan 14, 2016 at 10:30 am
                        In addition to arrest and trial of Masood by stani military courts ,India should also demand the immediate return of Dawood.Else it is just a farce.
                        1. K
                          Jan 14, 2016 at 2:38 pm
                          besically some militant groups didn't want peace in sub continent.. now pak govt realize that those groups are also enemies of both countries. but pak army can vanish them. lets see what does in future.
                          1. K
                            kamath Ramesh
                            Jan 15, 2016 at 8:01 am
                            Indian side response is really good and measured. We should not create hate India atmosphere in Pak by giving ugly comments making Pak people hate India. PM's visit was one step to change the mindset of Pak people. Unless we know for sure that Pak is not acting in the interest of friendship then only it must speak hard and take hard actions. Unlike earlier period at least civilian govt is with India now and it will soon people will also support India. if this happens ISI or military will have no option but to stop the terrorism.
                            1. K
                              kulaputra kulaputra
                              Jan 16, 2016 at 1:56 am
                              Measured and good. Stop this obsession with stan. We have our lives to lead too !
                              1. S
                                SIMRAN VIRDI
                                Jan 14, 2016 at 3:53 pm
                                As far as stan is concerned, it is our neighbour. Talks will take place keeping terror as the key issue," he said, adding that "Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made a beginning, now it is stan's turn to reciprocate." The nation is proud of its brave security forces who have always rose to the occasion. I salute our forces on successful operation in Pathankot. India should not encourage stan to visit India for investigation because they will do nothing but waste our people's time and money. We are much more capable of finding clues of Pathankot attack. We do not want anybody's help and suggestion.
                                1. D
                                  Devisahai Meena
                                  Jan 14, 2016 at 8:52 am
                                  1999 (NDA central govt.) freed and now 2016 (NDA central govt ) wants easy arrest of dreaded Pak-terrorist Masood Azhar ? NDA govts. changing their stand , Azhar might be thinking . Its not lucky enough such govts. India having.
                                  1. H
                                    Jan 15, 2016 at 5:26 am
                                    stan govt will not act against terrorist leaders. India should make efforts for international pressure to declare stan as terrorist state as this country is spreading terrorism all over world. All countries should take action against stan otherwise it will be suicidal for all who are closing its eyes on repeated terrorist attacks on India. In the meantime India govt should take help from other countries like Israel and other countries to deal in effective way. BJP govt should not behave like last UPA govt controlled by Italian intruder in this country resulted in making this country extremely weak militarily as all military purchases were stalled for grafts. This has caused repeated terrorist attacks on this country causing huge financial loss and killing of our security personals in large numbers. So Indian govt must deal firmly and effectively with stan so that this drama comes to halt in future. India should take immediate steps for spread of terrorism all over stan as done by PAK. This is one of effective way to arrest terrorist activity in india.
                                    1. I
                                      Jan 14, 2016 at 4:51 pm
                                      Democracy in stan is just a sham as every Indian knows.It is a brutal dictatorship run by it's military, propped up by the loudest critics of terrorism,who still hypocritically deceieve the innocent world by supplying this rogue terrorist state with cutting edge military and aircraft equipment and billions in cash and kind to loosen their terrorists on India with impunity and dare. The only way India can foil the evil pak army and ISI stranglehold on stan is by swallowing it's pride in the short term to once again show the world our maturity and capacity to be patient,but this time if there is no visible action against these perpetrators to take stern action against the terrorist state. Perhaps this strategy of giving PM Nawaz a chance is one tactic India must try.As all of India knows it is not going to result in pak army/isi tactic to groom and train non state actors to bleed India with a thousand cuts. The Pak army draws it's mettle from the powerful Saudi and other foreign backers who pump billions to keep this evil pack of vipers to rule and run stan as they wish.
                                      1. P
                                        Jan 14, 2016 at 2:30 pm
                                        Every time stan army sponsored terrorist attacks happen against India, govt retaliates by cancelling talks, which invites further terrorist strikes every time both counties are forced to talk again. Vicious cycle. Foreign secretaries should have met on Friday?
                                        1. P
                                          Jan 14, 2016 at 2:22 pm
                                          Very bad decision by govt to postpone FS level talks? ISI and JeM have succeeded in their aim. To make talks conditional on action taken on terrorist strike has undone all that was achieved through Modi Nawaz talks. Now these talks will never take place because no action on terrorists is possible in immediate future.
                                          1. R
                                            Rajesh Rao
                                            Jan 14, 2016 at 8:52 pm
                                            Need to be very care full of stan here, it could be just a quality control thing, where the investigates are here to see how well their terrorists did and how better they could have done. Sorry, but there is a considerable amount of trust deficit with them. Also note, USA has suspended the supply of F-16 to them, and to show US that stan is a good boy and doing its best 'natak' to fool Us, could be another angle.
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