'Should use intel to identify Pathankot attack handlers', says editorial in Pakistani daily

Islamabad: Pakistan should use its extensive intelligence network to find out who were the Pakistani handlers of the attack on the IAF base in Pathankot and "keep India in the loop", a leading daily in Islamabad said on Sunday.

In an editorial, The Nation newspaper said, while India believes that it had put the ball on "this side of the court following the submission of 'actionable intelligence' to Pakistani authorities after the Pathankot attack, it seems that the Pakistani government does not deem the leadssufficient enough to act at this moment."

Should use intel to identify Pathankot attack handlers, says editorial in Pakistani daily

Security forces in Pathankot. PTI

"But for now, at the very least, Pakistan can use its extensive intelligence network to find out who made the calls that were reportedly made from the handlers from this side of the border. It can crackdown on areas where the calls were made from to flush out any terrorist cells," the daily said.

It asserted that the Pakistani government is justified in saying that it needs "substantial evidence" and in the case of an arrest, there has to be reasonable doubt and for the arrest to hold up in court, more hard evidence will be required.

In a pre-dawn attack on 2 January, a group of heavily-armed Pakistani terrorists, suspected to be belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammed outfit, struck at the Air Force base in Punjab, killing seven security personnel.

"Obviously, the nature of the information provided has not been made clear, but it seems that the two governments are already on different pages regarding the attack, because India waits for direct action – arrests made, weapons found and links discovered – and Pakistan wants more evidence in order to do those things," the daily said.

"The Prime Minister's Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz claimed that the Foreign Secretary-level talks are still on, but the leadership of India has so far not given credence to this statement. However, the fact that this has not been opposed either is possibly a silver lining," it noted.

The editorial also claimed that the Pakistani government and even the establishment "do seem earnest about making the Pak-India relationship a more constructive one, given the two top-level meetings held regarding the issue."

"The government has to keep India in the loop as well, because a commitment has been made from one Head of Government to another, one that can be a potential game-changer in this relationship," it said.

It also stated that India on the other hand, should also be more forthcoming with information found following the attack.

It claimed that reportedly there are demands from Pakistan for further evidence, including DNA samples of the attackers.


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Updated Date: Jan 10, 2016 19:36:26 IST

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