India Welcomes Pak Probing Team, Talks Deferred: MEA


New Delhi: The MEA on Thursday confirmed that it has no information regardimg the arrest of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar’s arrest in connection to the Pathankot attacks.

The foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan have agreed to reschedule their talks in the “very near future” after positive steps taken by the neighbour over the Pathankot airbase attack, external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said on Thursday.

“The action against members of Jaish-e-Mohammed is a positive step,” Swarup said. “We are awaiting the SIT (special investigation team) set up by Pakistan to visit (for a probe into the attack). We will extend all assistance to them,” he said.

Pakistan earlier said it was in touch with India to reschedule the foreign secretary-level talks slated in Islamabad on January 15.

A Pakistani foreign ministry spokesperson said Islamabad was in touch with New Delhi to reschedule the dialogue but said he wasn’t aware of JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar’s arrest, as reported in the media.

Foreign secretary S Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmed Chowdhury were to meet this month but the dialogue plunged into uncertainty after India sought “prompt and decisive action” by Pakistan based on “actionable intelligence” and evidence gathered in the airbase that the JeM, which staged the 2001 Parliament attack, was involved.

The JeM was blamed for the rare and brazen attack on an Indian military installation outside Jammu and Kashmir, which killed seven soldiers and threatened to undermine improving relations with Pakistan.

It came just a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise stopover in Pakistan on premier Nawaz Sharif’s birthday, hailed as a diplomatic coup that displayed New Delhi’s political intent to meaningfully engage with its neighbour.

source: HT