With National Security Advisor Ajit K Doval leaving for Paris late Monday night and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar in Male, New Delhi is likely to take a “political call” on the proposed Foreign Secretary-level talks with Pakistan “in the next 48 hours”, government sources said. There is a possibility of the talks being postponed by “a few days or, at most, a few weeks”, a source added.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered the formation of a high-profile joint investigation team (JIT) to get more information about the Pathankot airbase attackers, a media report said Monday.
Watch video: Pathankot attack – the rise of Jaish-e-Muhammad
- Ae Dil Hai Mushkil Audience Reaction: Ranbir, Aishwarya, Anushka Starrer Gets A Thumbs Up
- Bigg Boss 10, October 27 Review: Navin, Lokesh Fights During The Immunity Task
- Shivaay Audience Reaction: Ajay Devgn Impresses Viewers
- Pakistan High Commission Staffer Caught With Defence Documents: What It Means For India & Pakistan
- The Royal Opera House Reopens After Decades Of Neglect: Here’s A Quick Tour
- Tata Sons Rubbishes Cyrus Mistry’s Allegations: Here’s What Happened
- Pakistan High Commissioner denies allegations leveled on his staffer for espionage activities
- Odisha: Villagers Refuse To Cremate Dalit Woman’s Body
- Here’s What Farhan Akhtar Said On Karan Johar-MNS ‘Deal’ Over Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’s Release
- Government’s Diwali Gift to Central Government Employees, Pensioners
- Bigg Boss 10 26th October Review: This Episode Is All About Fights
- New Zealand Beat India By 19 Runs In Ranchi; Series Levelled At 2-2
- DND Toll-Free: Noida Toll Company Moves Supreme Court Against Allahabad High Court
- British PM Theresa May Says Kashmir Is A Matter For India, Pakistan To Sort Out
- J&K: Students Suffer As Schools Along LOC Forced To Shut Amid Firing
Pakistani authorities also carried out raids in in Gujranwala, Jhelum and Bahawalpur districts, during which an unspecified number of people were arrested, intelligence officials said. The raids, sources said, were seen as “positive signs” by the Indian establishment.
However, reports in the Pakistani media claiming that phone numbers used by Pakistani handlers were “unregistered” were met with disbelief in New Delhi. “According to our information, Pakistan’s telecom rules do not allow phone numbers to be activated till biometrics are captured. How is it possible that the numbers are unregistered?” said a source.
Government sources said the “assessment” of the action being taken by Pakistan will be done by the security establishment — under NSA’s watch — before a call is taken on whether or not Jaishankar travels to Islamabad on January 15.
“The leads were shared by the NSA and the security agencies are best equipped to assess the progress made by the Pakistan’s establishment in their investigations. So, by Wednesday, a call will be taken on the Foreign Secretary-level talks,” said a source.
Doval is going to France as part of preparations ahead of French President Francois Hollande’s visit to India for the Republic Day celebrations. Jaishankar went to Maldives on Monday and will be headed to Colombo on Tuesday, before returning to Delhi on Wednesday.
“It is likely that there will be a conference call between top officials and the political leadership on Tuesday or Wednesday to decide on the future course of action,” an official tasked with preparatory work for the Foreign Secretary-level talks told The Indian Express.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, meanwhile, met Home Minister Rajnath Singh Monday afternoon — a meeting described by officials as “routine”.
In Islamabad, the decision to form the JIT, comprising officials from the Intelligence Bureau, Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence, was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Sharif recently, Pakistani newspaper The Express Tribune said.
Sharif “is taking an active role in getting to the bottom of the Pathankot incident”, a source from the Prime Minister’s House was quoted as saying by the paper.
“He also discussed the issue with Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif and took him on board about the decision to form a JIT,” the source added.
“This investigation will be a major test of the prime minister to move Pakistan-India relationship forward and to break the cycle of off-again on-again talks between the two neighbours,” the source said.