Pathankot attack: US expects Pakistan will take action against attackers

The US expects Pakistan will take actions against the perpetrators of the terror attack on IAF base in Pathankot, a top American official said, hours after Islamabad said it is working on the “leads” provided by India. “The government of Pakistan has spoken very powerfully to this and it’s certainly our expectation that they’ll treat this exactly the way they’ve said they would,” State Department Spokesman John Kirby said yesterday. Pakistan has said it is working on the “leads” provided by India on this attack.

Describing terrorism as a “shared challenge” in South Asia, the US also asked all countries in the region to work together to disrupt and dismantle terrorist networks and bring justice to the perpetrators of the Pathankot terrorist attack. “We urge all the countries in the region to work together to disrupt and dismantle terrorist networks and to bring justice to the perpetrators of this particular attack. I would note that the government of Pakistan, also publicly and privately condemned this recent attack on the Indian air base. “We have been clear with the highest levels of the government of Pakistan that it must continue to target all militant groups,” Kirby said. The government of Pakistan has said publicly and privately that it’s not going to discriminate among terrorist groups as part of its counter-terrorism operation, he said.

“So this is a shared challenge that we all face in the region and we in the United States want everybody to treat it as a shared challenge,” Kirby said, adding that the US has strongly condemned the terrorist attack on the Indian Air Force (IAF) base in Punjab’s Pathankot. “We extend our condolences to all the victims and their families,” he said. He said the US has for a long time talked about the continued safe haven issues there in between Afghanistan and Pakistan and certainly between India and Pakistan. “We’re mindful that there remain some safe havens that we obviously want to see cleared out. And we continue to engage with the government of Pakistan to that end. And again, I would point you back to what the government of Pakistan itself has said and acknowledged that it’s not going to discriminate among terrorist groups and it will continue to take the fight,” Kirby said. The Pakistani government, the Pakistani people very much understand the threat here, Kirby said. “What we want and what we continue to say we want and will continue to work for is increased cooperation, communication, coordination, increased information-sharing and increased efforts against what we all believe is a shared challenge in the region. “We want to see the government of Pakistan continue to press the fight against terrorists, all terrorists, and to meet their own expectations that they’re not going to discriminate among groups. They’ve said themselves and our expectation is that they’ll live up to that pledge,” he said. “We recognise there’s more everybody can do, not just Pakistan but every nation can do because it is a shared challenge and it’s a challenge, as you well know, that doesn’t necessarily observe borders and boundaries. So it’s something that everybody can attack more,” Kirby said. Kirby said the US is encouraged by the government of Pakistan condemning this attack, and the statement that they’ve made about not discriminating among groups. “As we’ve said before, this is an issue that, as are so many issues between India and Pakistan and we want to see them work out bilaterally,” Kirby said, adding that normalisation of relations between India and Pakistan remains vital to the security and economic prosperity of the entire region. “We strongly encourage the governments of both India and Pakistan to remain steadfast in their commitment to a more secure and prosperous future for both our countries and for their region,” Kirby added. Pakistan yesterday said it is working on the “leads” provided by India on the terror attack on the IAF base in Pathankot, according to the Foreign Office. Extending Pakistan’s deepest condolences to the Government and people of India on the “unfortunate terrorist incident” in Pathankot, a statement by the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, “In line with Pakistan’s commitment to effectively counter and eradicate terrorism, the Government is in touch with the Indian government and is working on the leads provided by it.” The statement, however, did not give details of the “leads” provided by India.