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Action On Pathankot First, Talks Later: India Makes Stand Clear to Pak


Pakistan must deliver "prompt and decisive action" on the evidence provided by India of the terror attack at the air force base in Pathankot, said the government today, indicating that without that, crucial talks between the Foreign Secretaries of both countries are unlikely to go ahead next week.

"The ball is in Pakistan's court," said Vikas Swarup, the spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry. "The Immediate issue is Pakistan's response," he said.

In Pakistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with top officials today including his Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz, allegedly to review the evidence furnished by India, which includes intercepts of phone calls made by the six terrorists who crossed the border last week and launched a massive assault on the base in Pathankot, leaving seven military personnel martyred and another 20 injured.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Mr Sharif firmly on the phone two days ago that India wants to see urgent action taken against those who conceived and executed the attack. National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval has spoken at least twice in recent days with his Pakistani counterpart Naseer Janjua to disclose the evidence of the terrorists' Pakistani links.

Ammunition and other equipment recovered from them after they were killed was made in Pakistan, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has said.

The attack at Pathankot, where India keeps fighter jets and attack helicopters, came just a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an unscheduled visit to Pakistan to meet Mr Sharif, a demonstration of the leaders' commitment to speeding up a rapprochement after months of bilateral tension.

The Foreign Secretaries are due to meet on the 14th and 15th in Islamabad, though India has not yet officially announced any dates. Sources say the government is mulling the option of delaying them - the ball, they say, is in Pakistan's court to act in the next few days.

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