Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has asked the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to probe the leads provided by India on the alleged Pakistani links to the terror attack in Pathankot, a report said on Friday.
Sharif gave the directive to the IB after chairing a high-level meeting in Islamabad on Thursday, The Nation newspaper reported.
Among those who attended the meeting were Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi, National Security Adviser (NSA) Nasser Khan Janjua, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry and Intelligence Bureau chief Aftab Sultan.
“Officials said the prime minister and the aides agreed to launch investigations into the evidence provided by India,” the report said.
Hours earlier, India linked the upcoming foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan to Islamabad’s action against suspected Pakistani terrorists who raided the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot on January 2.
The pre-dawn attack left seven Indian security personnel dead. Security forces killed all six attackers.
Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi spoke on the telephone after the terror attack. India said it had provided “actionable” inputs to Pakistan, and Sharif assured Modi of “prompt and decisive” action against groups and individuals who might be linked to the attack.
The Nation quoted an official as saying that the leads provided by India were handed over to IB chief Aftab Sultan for further action.
Addressing the meeting, Sharif said Pakistan was ready to boost cooperation with India as part of counter-terrorism efforts.
Sharif also directed NSA Nasser Khan Janjua to remain in contact with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval in a bid to keep renewed dialogue on track.
Another official, however, said the information provided by India was “not enough” as it was just limited to telephone numbers. He said Pakistan might ask for additional information.
“We would like to have solid information to build a case for action. Otherwise courts intervene and the suspects will be bailed out,” he added.
‘Islamabad to determine own timeline’
A US State Department spokesman said it was up to the Pakistan government to determine how long it would take to investigate the attack on the Pathankot air base following information provided by India, APP reports from Islamabad.
“It’s not for us to ascribe a timeline to somebody else’s investigation,” spokesman John Kirby said.
“Obviously, in all investigations, you want it to be thorough and you want it to be complete,” he added.
“Let us let them do that, and let’s see where the investigation goes,” he said. “We obviously would like to see it investigated too, as completely and as thoroughly as possible so we can better understand what happened.”