- Pakistan will have to do more than merely registering an FIR in the Pathankot airbase attack case if it hopes to restart the stalled dialogue process between the two neighbours: Manohar Parrikar.
- Parrikar also warned Pakistan that India would hit back at terror groups in their own language.
Despite numerous demands from India and mounting international pressure to facilitate speedy investigations into the Pathankot case, Pakistan has maintained silence with slow investigational procedures.
Recently, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said, "Pakistan will have to do more than merely registering an FIR in the Pathankot airbase attack case if it hopes to restart the stalled dialogue process between the two neighbours."
"Pakistan needs to carry out a more serious investigation," he said in an interview with NDTV.
According to reports by The Express Tribune, the Punjab Counter-Terrorism Department registered an FIR last week against unidentified suspects of the 2 January Pathankot assault thereby kicking off formal investigations into the attack that claimed seven lives.
It further adds that there are ongoing backroom consultations between India and Pakistan with talks soon to follow.
Breaking conventions and protocols?
Earlier reports suggested that India and Pakistan would not allow the terror attack to derail peace talks. But, with Parrikar's latest statement, it can be assumed that the change in stance is to ensure Pakistan's commitment to eradicating terrorism and not abdicating its responsibility for terror attacks on Indian soil.
"Registration of a case is merely a step ahead but it won't do. There should be serious investigations. Our effort is that they should take legal action to our satisfaction," Parrikar was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, Parrikar has also ruled out withdrawing soldiers from Siachen stating there was no question of vacating the strategic location as India occupied the highest peaks there. "Such things can be considered only after Pakistan establishes its credentials that it is worthy of trust," he added.
He also warned Pakistan that India would hit back at terror groups in their own language. "Those who inflicted pain on India will have to pay. When, what and how it will be done will depend on our convenience," Parrikar said.
Investigators to visit India soon:
A team of Pakistani investigators are likely to visit India next month to collect evidence relating to the alleged involvement of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorists in the Pathankot airbase attack, the media reported on 20 February.
"The investigation team's visit is expected," a senior diplomat told Dawn, adding that dates for the visit are yet to be finalised.
The registration of an FIR by the Counter-Terrorism Department of Punjab police on Friday has, however, paved the way for the visit of the six-member investigation team constituted by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif weeks after the attack on the Pathankot Air Force Station.
Pakistan had also launched a crackdown on the banned group JeM, sealing a number of seminaries in Punjab and also reportedly taking into protective custody JeM chief Masood Azhar.
This was confirmed by none other than Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif's top foreign policy aide Sartaj.
"Action will follow against Maulana Azhar and others the moment evidence becomes available," Sartaj told India Today.
"Pakistan is examining all the evidences, including the phone numbers given by India in the Pathankot attack case and that the NSAs of the two countries are in regular touch," said Pakistan's Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali.
But, Parrikar has stated that SIT would not be allowed to go inside the Pathankot airbase.
With diplomatic stand-off between India-Pakistan taking credence, we can only wait for further developments.
(Edited Aishwarya Yerra)