Sharif Draws Flak Over Pathankot Attack

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif

Senators accuse Sharif of keeping the parliament in dark over Pathankot attack….reports Asian Lite News

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif

Opposition members in Pakistan have accused the Nawaz Sharif government of misleading the Senate by concealing information about the Pathankot terror attack in India. The accusations came on Friday when PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar alleged that the government was patronising militants, a claim Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq strongly denied, the Express News reported.

“Why else did the government not share details of the investigation into the alleged involvement of Pakistani nationals in the Pathankot attack with the House?” asked Babar.

“Has the Indian government provided any facts/information to the Pakistani government? And what is the latter doing in this regard?” he asked. The queries went unanswered. But it prompted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to announce that the findings of the probe would be made public.

On January 2, terrorists, believed to be from Pakistan, stormed the Indian Air Force (IAF) base. All attackers, their number believed to be four to six, were killed. Seven Indian security personnel were also killed.

India allowed a Pakistani team of investigators to visit the IAF base.

Meanwhile. the US has urged India and Pakistan to hold dialogue to de-escalate tensions, saying they don’t want the relations to worsen and “lead to some kind of incident”. The response from the US State Department comes as ties between the two South Asian neighbours has soured markedly.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pointedly referred to Pakistan as the “one country” responsible for spreading terrorism in South Asia in his successive multilateral meetings, including the G20. Pakistan has hit back, accusing India of being that “one country”.

US State Department spokesperson, Mark Toner, on being asked if the US should mediate between India Pakistan, said on Thursday: “We strongly encourage in all of our dealings with either India and/or Pakistan stronger relations between the two countries.”

In a clear reference to the rising bilateral tensions, Toner said: “It’s clearly in the security interests of the region that they work to de-escalate tensions and that they have dialogue.

“And that’s something we constantly encourage for just that – or out of just that concern, which is that we don’t want to see tensions escalate, spiral out of control, and lead to some kind of incident. Again, it’s important for the two countries, the two governments to maintain strong, cordial, and productive relations.”

Tension between India and Pakistan have soared over the Kashmir unrest after Islamabad termed Hizbul militant commander Burhan Wani as a “martyr”. Wani was killed on July 8 in an encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir, sparking clashes that have led to at least 76 civilian deaths so far.

India has also protested against Pakistan’s attempts to internationalise the Kashmir issue.

The January 2 terror attack on the Pathankot air base in India, which New Delhi has blamed on Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed militants, also led to souring of relations.