New Delhi: The conspiracy behind the terrorist attack on Pathankot’s air base was hatched in Markaj, Pakistan, as per high-level official sources. Sources said the intelligence agencies have identified the mastermind who was controlling Asfaq Ahmed, Hafiz Abdul Shakur, Kashim Jan and Masood Azhar, the perpetrators of the Pathankot attack. National Security Adviser Ajit Doval has spoken to his Pakistani counterpart Nasir Khan Janjua and conveyed New Delhi’s sentiment that action should be taken against the perpetrators.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Secretary-level talks with Pakistan scheduled for later this month looks in serious jeopardy with strong indications that the government may call off the engagement if evidence emerges that Pakistan’s state actors were complicit in the attack on Pathankot’s air base. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) today put the ball in Pakistan’s court and said the future course of action would be decided after Islamabad’s response to actionable intelligence provided with regard to the attack.
Taking to the media here, MEA official spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the government’s policy towards Pakistan is clear and consistent. ‘India wants friendly relations with all its neighbours, including Pakistan. We have extended a hand of friendship to Pakistan, but we will not countenance cross-border terrorist attacks,’ Swarup said.
‘As you would recall, the decision to commence a comprehensive bilateral dialogue with Pakistan, followed the constructive meeting of the National Security Advisors in Bangkok (Thailand) in which the central concerns of terrorism, peace and security, and tranquility along the Line of Control (LoC) were discussed,’ he added. The MEA spokesperson said the terrorist attack on the Pathankot air base has once again put renewed focus on the challenge posed by cross-border terrorism.