Probing fresh leads given by India on Pathankot: Sharif

25 January 2016

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Sunday that India has given fresh leads relating to the Pathankot terror attack and Pakistan is verifying the facts to bring the perpetrators to justice.

"I have received fresh leads from India on the Pathankot attack and we will look and examine those evidences given by India. We could have hidden it or forgotten it but we asserted that we have received the evidences," Sharif said on a day when US President Barack Obama termed the Pathankot terror strike as "another example of the inexcusable terrorism that India has endured for too long".

"Pakistan has an opportunity to show that it is serious about delegitimising, disrupting and dismantling terror networks," Obama told PTI in an interview.

"We are probing and verifying that. Once we are done with that we would definitely bring the facts forward. Along with that, we have also formed a special investigating team, they would go to India and collect more evidence," Sharif said in London on his arrival from Davos after attending the World Economic Forum.

"I had a word with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and he had offered every help possible from their side in bringing the perpetrators to justice. We are going on the right lines and I hope the perpetrators will be brought to justice soon," said Sharif who promised further Pakistani action to combat militants but conceded that progress had often been slow.

India gave "specific and actionable information" to Pakistan soon after the Pathankot attack reportedly carried out by Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists on the intervening night of 1 and 2 January that killed seven Indian soldiers.

Sharif said a Pakistani investigation team will also visit India to collect further information about the attack.

He also said Pakistan and India should not interfere in each other's affairs. He said Pakistan believes in non-interference in internal affairs of other countries and wants others to follow suit.

Pakistani National Security Advisor Lt Gen Naseer Khan Janjua on 5 January had called up his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval during which they discussed "specific and actionable information" related to the Pathankot terror strike.

Doval and Janjua talked about various information and leads, like the Pakistani numbers which the attackers had called and their intercepts with India asserting that an effective action on part of Pakistan was important.

Sharif was speaking days after a deadly attack by heavily armed gunmen on a university near Peshawar killed 21 people.

The attack bore a chilling resemblance to the December, 2014 Peshawar school attack in which over 150 people, mostly children, were killed, prompting the Pakistan government to launch a National Action Plan (NAP) cracking down on militancy.

Sharif said Pakistan would continue the fight against militants. "We will fulfil this responsibility," he said.

Sharif said Pakistan and Afghanistan have an agreement not to allow their respective soil for terrorist activities, adding that Pakistan is fully abiding by this understanding.

However, some elements are active in Afghanistan, who carry out terrorist attacks in Pakistan, Sharif said.

He said Pakistan has always supported an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process in Afghanistan as a peaceful and stable Afghanistan is in the best interest of not only Pakistan, but also the entire region.

Sharif said a committee comprising Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, and the US is working for peace in Afghanistan.

Regarding the National Action Plan to eliminate terrorism, he said the government is fully determined to expedite its implementation and assured that all steps will be taken to root out the menace of terrorism.

Sharif said the army and all other institutions are on the same page in fight against terrorism.

He also said Pakistan's reconciliatory efforts to mitigate tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran were aimed at peacefully resolving differences between both the Islamic countries.

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