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India, Pak agree to reschedule talks

Vikas-Swarup

New Delhi : Clearing air over reports of deferment of the Foreign Secretary-level talks with Pakistan, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday said Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar spoke to his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhary and both agreed to reschedule the talks in the near future.

MEA official spokesperson Vikas Swarup welcomed Pakistan’s move to order an investigation into the Pathankot terror attack

“The statement conveys that considerable progress has been made in the investigation being carried out against terrorist elements linked to the Pathankot incident,” said Swarup.

“We note the apprehension of Jaish-e-Mohammad members, the action taken against JeM is an important positive first step,” he added.

Swarup informed the media that the Government of Pakistan is considering sending a Special Investigation Team to investigate the Pathankot terror attack.

“We look forward to the visit of the Pakistani SIT and our investigative agencies will extend all necessary cooperation to bring the perpetrators of the attack to justice,” he added while asserting that New Delhi condemns terrorism in all its form and manifestation.

The Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs earlier said that they have no information about the arrest of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar in connection with the Pathankot attack.

“I am not aware of such arrest,” MOFA spokesperson Khalilullah Qazi told the media in Islamabad.

Qazi, however, said that the two governments remain in touch in this regard and added that India and Pakistan are in contact to firm up the date for the meeting of the two Foreign Secretaries.

“Terrorism is a common threat and it is the collective responsibility of all countries to fight against it,” Qazi added.

Reports earlier suggested that Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies had yesterday arrested 12 suspects of the banned Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), including its chief Masood Azhar, over links with the attack on Indian Air Force base in Pathankot.

The reports also suggested that a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was informed on Wednesday that offices of JeM that allegedly conducted Pathankot attack were secretly operating in four cities of Punjab. (ANI)

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