Indian Extrenal Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday clarified that foreign secretary-level talks between New Delhi and Islamabad were not cancelled but postponed.
“We are only waiting for a probe from the Pakistan side on Pathankot attack,” Sushma said while addressing a presser in New Delhi.
No evidence of Pakistan’s involvement in Pathankot attack: Indian agency
The foreign minister clarified the Indian government did not stop its National Investigation Agency (NIA) from visiting Pakistan to probe the Pathankot incident.
“The NIA has not been denied permission to go to Pakistan and investigate. Pakistan has only asked for time to conduct proper investigation from their end,” she said while responding to a question.
Responding to a question whether India will protest Pakistan’s entry in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the minister said her country will not protest entry of any nation in the NSG.
“India won’t protest entry to any nation in NSG but it would want applications be considered based on merits,” Sushma said.
Where is the Pathankot investigation heading?
The minister went on to claim that China was not protesting India’s membership in NSG but it was only raising concerns on the “criteria procedure”.
The foreign minister expressed hope that India will be able to convince China and some other nations on India’s NSG membership.
“Hopefully we will be able to convince China as well. I myself am in contact with 23 nations out of which only one or two have raised concerns but the consensus is there,” she said.
In January this year, at least five militants stormed an Indian Air Force base in Pathankot area of Indian Punjab. The attacks left at least seven Indian personnel dead.
While the obscure United Jihad Council claimed responsibility for the attacks, New Delhi blamed Islamabad and the banned Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) group.
It also scuppered a meeting between the foreign secretaries of the respective countries, scheduled for mid-January, to extend the comprehensive bilateral dialogue.
Though Pakistan extended cooperation to India, it formed a special team to probe specific ‘evidence’ presented by India and subsequently registered a FIR about the incident.
A joint investigation team formed as part of the FIR process later travelled to India in early April, visiting the scene of the crime while receiving further briefings and evidence from Indian investigators.
Earlier this month, head of India’s top investigator NIA said there was no evidence the Pakistan government or any state functionary was involved in the assault.
“So far, there is no evidence to show that the Pakistan government or any government agency was helping Jaish or Masood Azhar or his aides carry out the Pathankot attack,” stated DG NIA Sharad Kumar.
Courtesy : Express Tribune