The government Sunday said it was still waiting for Pakistan to take concrete action in the Pathankot terror attack case. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said Islamabad had sought “more time” for the Joint Investigating Team to take stock of its probe.
Stressing that the Pakistan government has not yet refused to allow an NIA team to visit to probe the Pathankot attack, she said that the “warmth and ease” in personal relations between PM Narendra Modi and Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif was important to resolve issues between the two countries. Swaraj added that the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad had met the authorities twice on the Pathankot probe and the NIA team’s possible visit.” They said they are analysing (the evidence). They have not refused (to allow NIA to visit). They just said they want more time,” she said.
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On the three-point Pakistan policy, she said, “First, we want to solve every issue through talks. Second, talks will be between India and Pakistan and no third country or party will be its part. Third, terror and talks will not go hand in hand.”
Swaraj said there were complex issues between the two countries and it would not be practical to expect a resolution soon. “After the Pathankot attack, there were expectations from the government and people that there should be concrete steps from their side. This expectation is not unreasonable. So we are waiting for concrete steps from their side,” she said. She also said the foreign secretary-level talks between the two countries have not been called off.
She said there was a “huge difference” between Pakistan’s response to the Pathankot attack and its reaction following terror strikes in the past. “Pakistan used to be in a denial mode after terror attacks in India but its attitude after the Pathankot assault was different. This was the first time that their PM Nawaz Sharif called up our Prime Minister and said ‘You give me evidence, I will definitely act on it. It is a huge difference,” Swaraj said.
Giving an account of India’s initiatives towards Pakistan — from Modi’s unscheduled stopover at Lahore to his phone call before Sharif’s bypass surgery — she said, “It is true that there are difficult issues between the two countries… But to resolve issues, you need to have a relationship.”