Pakistan must help India probe Punjab attack: daily

Islamabad, July 29 (IANS) A newspaper on Wednesday urged Pakistan to extend “full cooperation” to India’s probe into Punjab’s terror attack “if facts point to a role of elements operating from Pakistani soil”.

The Dawn said in an editorial that some of the public mistrust in both countries could have been curbed if only India and Pakistan had followed up the decision their prime ministers took at Ufa, Russia.

If the National Security Advisers of the two countries had met and worked out an arrangement on how to address real-time incidents, the fallout of Monday’s terror attack in Gurdaspur district would have been different.

Three terrorists believed to have come from Pakistan shot dead seven people, including a superintendent of police, in Dinanagar town in Gurdaspur, a district bordering Pakistan, before they were shot dead.

Indian police officials have suggested that the way the attack was carried out was unlike the modus operandi of now vanquished Sikh militants and the weapons and equipment the attackers had suggest a Pakistani link.

The Dawn said the terror attack “almost immediately became about Pakistan and the ever-present tensions between the two countries”.

But it noted that fortunately “only some Indian officials began to blame Pakistan and the ISI” for the attack.

“Of course, if caution and common sense do not prevail often enough in India, neither do they in Pakistan,” it added.

The daily noted that it was left to Pakistan’s foreign office to condemn the Gurdaspur killings and “express sympathy for the victims and their families”.

“Already, the prime ministerial meeting in Ufa, Russia, appears to have been eclipsed,” it said, referring to the meeting between Nawaz Sharif and Narendra Modi this month.

“But all is not lost yet,” it said.

“As the facts from Gurdaspur emerge in the days ahead, Pakistan could extend its full cooperation in the investigation — if the facts do point to a role in Gurdaspur of elements operating from Pakistani soil.”

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