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Six gunmen killed at besieged air base in India

Pakistani officials confirmed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had spoken to Modi, expressing his sadness over the attack and saying Pakistan would investigate any information that India provides.

Defence minister Manohar Parrikar confirmed on Tuesday that all six terrorists who attacked the Pathankot airbase on Saturday have been killed.

“If you really want to improve the relations between India then hand over Maulana Masood Azhar, the mastermind of the Pathankot air base attack”.

Earlier on Monday, an alliance of Kashmiri militant groups claimed the attack on the Pathankot airbase.

Pakistan condemned the terrorist attack at Pathankot and said that they were working on the “leads” provided by India as a sign of their “commitment”. According to the Pakistan statement, both the PMs agreed that a cordial and cooperative relationship between the two countries would be the most appropriate response to the “nefarious designs of the terrorists”. The air base has probably the highest concentration of military personnel in India because of its proximity to the country’s border with Pakistan, an analyst from Jane’s Information Group said. India accused Pakistan of arming and training the insurgents, which Pakistan denies.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif assured Prime Minister Modi that his government would take prompt and decisive action against the terrorists. Rebels in India’s portion of Kashmir have been fighting since 1989 for independence or merger with Pakistan.

Its foreign ministry said the government was committed to a “sustained dialogue process” and that India had shared leads on the assault.

Indian forces had killed five militants involved in the attack, but it was unclear whether more remained at large in the sprawling facility 25 km (16 miles) from the Pakistani border.

Air force spokeswoman Rochelle D’Silva said Tuesday “there has been no firing since Monday night at the base”.

“Combing operations are (still) going on”, Parrikar said.

Last week, I discussed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s bold surprise stopover in Lahore on his way back from Kabul.

“The attack is a message by Mujahideen (militants) that no sensitive installation of India is out of our reach”, said UJC spokesman Syed Sadaqat Hussain in a statement, a copy of which was seen by Reuters.

Lashing out at Centre in the wake of Pathankot terror attack, Opposition parties stepped up attacks on government’s handling of ties with Pakistan.

The Congress has demanded the PM engage with Opposition leaders and clear the air on all that has transpired in peace talks with Pakistan.

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