A leading Pakistani newspaper has taken up India’s cause, saying that Pakistan would have to cooperate “with sincerity” with its neighbour India with regard to terrorist activities, particularly with the recent attack on an Indian Air Force base in Pathankot, Punjab.
The News International newspaper said on Thursday that Pakistan must work closely with India and with “sincerity” to bring to book the masterminds of the terrorist attack in Pathankot if the attackers were indeed Pakistanis.
“It is clear the two countries will need to cooperate on the issue of terrorism,” the paper wrote in an editorial. “The word from India is that they are seeking Pakistan’s cooperation in identifying the terrorists and tracing their network. On our side, we need to work towards that with sincerity.”
The daily also said that the 2 January attack on the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot, which killed seven security personnel, had averted a potential crisis in India-Pakistan relations.
The Indian government has said that all six attackers, believed to be from Pakistan, were killed. A few Indian security personnel were also killed in their battle with the attackers.
“It (the attack) threatened to halt the improvement in Pak(istan)-India ties that we have seen over the past weeks – mainly as a result of diplomacy behind closed doors,” the editorial said.
A couple of days ago, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had Narendra Modi and “assured” him that his government would take “prompt and decisive action” against the terrorists.
The paper said that the telephonic conversation between the Prime Ministers helped a great deal to cool tensions.
“This is a welcome break from the past and shows a new willingness to handle things diplomatically and without attempting to stir up trouble.”
The daily said it was “very good news” that India refused to bow down to pressure to stop the talks scheduled this month between the foreign secretaries of the two countries.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a call this afternoon from Prime Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Nawaz Sharif regarding the terrorist attack on the Pathankot airbase,” said statement from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday.
“Prime Minister Modi strongly emphasised the need for Pakistan to take firm and immediate action against the organizations and individuals responsible for and linked to the Pathankot terrorist attack. Specific and actionable information in this regard has been provided to Pakistan,” it said.