Islamabad: US Secretary of State John Kerry today called up Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and asked him to find out the truth in the terror attack on the air base in Pathankot.
Sharif, during the telephonic conversation, told Kerry that Pakistan is “swiftly” carrying out investigations in a “transparent” manner into the terror attack on the air base.
“Kerry extended full support to the Prime Minister to find out the truth in the Pathankot terror incident,” a statement issued by the Pakistan PMO said.
It said Sharif “told Secretary Kerry that we are swiftly carrying out investigations in a transparent manner and will bring out the truth. The world will see our effectiveness and sincerity in this regard, the Prime Minister added,” according to the statement.
Kerry’s call to Sharif came amid Indian intelligence reports suggesting that groups and people in Pakistan planned and executed the strike on the Pathankot airbase.
Kerry said the US hopes that talks between India and Pakistan will continue despite the fact that terrorists have tried to thwart it because “continuation of India-Pakistan talks is needed in the interest of regional stability and the leadership role by both the Prime Ministers is required to ensure continuous dialogue,” said the statement.
Sharif said Pakistan would not allow anyone to use its soil to carry out terror operations abroad, it added.
The statement said Kerry “lauded the Prime Minister’s leadership role in such difficult environment, which was the exact the leadership needed in this situation.
Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan are scheduled
to meet this week as part of the revival of the peace process that was agreed upon by Sharif and Prime Minister Narendra Modi when the latter made a surprise visit to Lahore on December 25 on his way back from Kabul to New Delhi.
Sharif’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz yesterday said that Foreign Secretary-level talks are “intact” and Pakistan was following the leads provided by India which has linked the talks, scheduled for January 15, to Islamabad’s decisive action on the Pathankot terror attack.
“We are investigating the Pathankot incident while the foreign secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan are intact,” he said at a function in Lahore.
Replying to another question, Aziz said: “Let me tell you the talks are intact and will take place as per schedule.”
He, however, did not mention the progress Pakistan has achieved on the leads provided by India.
“We are investigating the Pathankot incident,” was Aziz’s answer when he was asked by a reporter in this regard.
Modi’s historic visit to Lahore was hailed by many as a master stroke, but as has been the case with previous Indian peace initiatives, it was followed by a terror attack from inside Pakistan by those groups who are against any improvement in the ties between the two neighbours.