At least two gunmen were holed up in a two-story building on an Indian air force base near the Pakistan border and exchanging gunfire with troops Monday, more than two days after they and several others attacked the heavily fortified compound, officials said. “This is a predictable modus operandi of the ISI and its protege terror outfits”. Clearly, there was poor coordination between the local police, the intelligence services and the military brass, including the commanders of the Pathankot air base.
“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. No group claimed responsibility for the strike, but officials suspected Pakistan-based militant groups.
“Living in the same region and with a common history, the two countries should remain committed to a sustained dialogue process”, it said, adding, “The challenge of terrorism calls for strengthening our resolve to a cooperative approach”.
The attack on the Pathankot air force base started before dawn Saturday and is seen as an attempt to undo recent improvements in the relationship between archrivals India and Pakistan.
“Through timely and prompt action by all agencies, the likely plan of the terrorists to destroy valuable assets of the Air Force has been foiled”, the Indian Defense Ministry had said in a statement at the time.
The air force base is on the highway that connects India’s insurgency-plagued Jammu and Kashmir state with the rest of the country.
(AP Photo/Channi Anand). Indian security forces stand outside the Indian airbase in Pathankot, 430 kilometers (267 miles) north of New Delhi, India, Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, in fact, went ahead with a pre-arranged meeting with former foreign secretaries and ex-envoys to Pakistan to know their mind before the FS-level talks.
Ties seemed to take a turn for the better after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, late last month.
Speculation is also rife that the two NSAs may talk or meet before foreign secretary S. Jaishankar’s proposed visit to Pakistan in mid-January.
“We’ve been clear with the highest levels of the government of Pakistan, that it must continue to target all militant groups”, Kirby told reporters on Monday.
It is understood that Doval briefed the PM on the operations against terrorists and senior officials discussed the strategy to deal with Pakistan. Though nothing will be gained by calling off the dialogue process, which had received a big boost following Modi’s unscheduled Christmas Day stopover in Lahore, it should be appreciated that if such terror attacks continue even Modi will feel obliged to terminate engagement with Pakistan.
More in AmeriPublications
South Korea appeals to China to rein in North over nuclear tests
South Korea’s Defense Ministry couldn’t immediately confirm the report.January 21, 2016
Satellite SpaceX fail as rocket topples over while landing
According to a message on Twitter wrote by SpaceX founder Elon Musk, one of the rocket’s landing legs didn’t latch into...January 21, 2016
Ruble Falls to 82 Against US Dollar, 90 Against Euro
Russian Federation is running a budget deficit of 3 percent of GDP this year, and the government is looking to cut...January 21, 2016
19 killed in university attack in Pakistan
He said the operation had ended and security forces were clearing the area, with most of the student victims shot dead...January 21, 2016
Moldova political crisis: Protesters break into parliament
Police arrested several protesters after they clashed with security forces and broke into the parliament building on Wednesday, according to local...January 21, 2016
Military step up search and recovery operation after Somalia raid
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) – Somalia’s Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab claimed on Sunday to have killed 100 Kenyan soldiers serving under the...January 21, 2016
Sarah Palin: Speculation rife former Alaska governor set to endorse Donald Trump
“And that starts from the top”, she said. “You deserve the best!”January 21, 2016
Bombing close to Russian embassy in Kabul kills 7
At least seven people died on Wednesday when a suicide bomber targeted the Moby Group, a major media production company in...January 21, 2016
NYS Health Officials Advise MDs to Watch for Zika Virus
The move comes after United States health chiefs issued an alert on Friday advising pregnant women to avoid travelling to Brazil...January 21, 2016