NEW DELHI – India’s Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup has said that India is awaiting prompt response from Pakistan in the form of action taken against those responsible for the attack on the Indian Air Force (IAF) base in Pathankot, Indian media reported.
“The ball is in Pakistan’s court,” the media quoted him as saying, pointing out the upcoming secretary-level talks scheduled for January 15 in Islamabad between Foreign Affairs Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry and his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar.
“As far as we are concerned the ball is now in Pakistan’s court. The immediate issue in front of us is Pakistan’s response to the attack and the actionable intelligence provided to it,” Swarup claimed. “India’s stand is very clear. It wants healthy relation with all its neighbours, including Pakistan,” he said.
However, the Pathankot attack has once again put renewed focus on challenge of ‘cross-border’ tensions, he said. He also said that they let a hand of friendship to Pakistan and it has to take the lead for the sake of peace in the region. “India has provided actionable intelligence to Pakistan related to the attack and will now await Pakistan’s response,” he said.
On Thursday, Pakistan said it wants uninterrupted dialogue with India to find a solution to all outstanding issues, including the long-running issue of Jammu Kashmir. “What is important is to have a dialogue between the two countries, which is uninterrupted and result-oriented,” Foreign Office spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said when asked about Pakistan’s expectations from talks with India.
Swarup faced a barrage of questions on secretary-level talks between Pakistan and India, but he remained non-committal on whether the talks would proceed as scheduled or would be put off. “Today is January 7 and there are eight days to go before January 15 and a lot can change by then,” he said. He said that if Pakistan acts on assurances it gave then situation would be definitely improved in the positive direction.
He said that India’s policy on Pakistan was clear, as all issues were discussed in the Bangkok meeting between the national security advisers. Referring to the recent telephonic conversation between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, the Indian official said that Prime Minister Modi strongly urged his Pakistani counterpart to take action against affiliates of Pathankot attack. “We are not imposing any deadline. At the same time prompt means prompt and we will go by the common sense interpretation of that word,” he said.