India, Pak NSAs in touch since Pathankot attack

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New Delhi: The national security advisors of India and Pakistan continue to remain in touch with each other following the attack on the Pathankot airbase in January this year, the government said on Wednesday. 

“The two NSAs have been in touch with each other following the Pathankot attack in January 2016 regarding the follow-up by Pakistan on actionable information provided by India concerning the attack,” Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh said in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha. 

Seven Indian security personnel lost their lives when gunmen from across the border attacked the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot, Punjab, early on January 2.

The Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) claimed responsibility for the attack in which all the six gunmen also were reportedly killed.

The attack derailed the proposed foreign secretary-level talks that were scheduled for the middle of January after the two countries agreed in December last year to start a comprehensive bilateral dialogue.

India has since sent “actionable evidence” to the Pakistani authorities to bring the perpetrators of the attack to book.

Pakistan filed an FIR in Gujranwala last month against “unknown” terrorists in connection with the attack. 

It also said that it would send a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to India to probe the attack. 

 “The government continues to pursue imposition and strict monitoring of 1267 regime on various Pakistan-based individuals and terrorist organisations directing their activities against India,” Singh said. “Our concerns regarding anti-India terrorism emanating from Pakistan have been taken up with international community and also bilaterally with Pakistan on a number of occasions.” 

This concern was also discussed by India’s National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval with his Pakistani counterpart Nasir Khan Janjua when they met in Bangkok on December 6 last year, Singh said. 

“Government remains committed to taking all necessary steps to safeguard safety and security of the country and its citizens,” he added.

 

Nawaz sharief, Raheel Sharief leave for Saudi for security talks

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Wednsday left for Saudi Arabia on a three-day official visit to hold important security talks with the oil-rich gulf country, which also leads a 34-nation Islamic coalition against terrorism. 

Nawaz, who is accompanied by the army chief Raheel Sharif, will meet the Saudi top leaders during his stay from March 9-11 and will offer to expand cooperation with Saudi Arabia in its fight against-terrorism, the FO statement said.

Foreign Office (FO) said the prime minister was invited by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud to witness the military exercise ‘North Thunder’, where a large number of other Heads of State have also been invited to witness the closing ceremony. 

Pakistan is part of the 34-nation coalition of Islamic countries cobbled together by Saudi Arabia to fight terrorism. 

Troops from about two dozen countries, including Pakistan, are participating in the ‘North Thunder’ exercise, in the northern region of Saudi Arabia. 

The main goal of the exercise is to improve training in responding to threats posed by terrorist groups. 

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy multi-faceted cooperation, including in the fields of defence and counter-terrorism. 

Pakistan has said several times that it will always stand shoulder to shoulder with Saudi Arabia against any threat to territorial integrity and sovereignty, the statement added.

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