Pakistani daily criticises Parrikar over Pathankot statement

Islamabad, March 3 (IANS) A Pakistani daily on Thursday criticised Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar over his statement on the January 2 terror attack on the Indian Air Force base at Pathankot and said it is “not fair to draw conclusions and announce them at a public forum before the full inquiry into Pathankot is complete”.

An editorial “A question of responsibility” in the News International said India continues to tie new knots into the tangled web at the centre of which lies the Pathankot terror attack.

Parrikar told the Rajya Sabha in response to a supplementary question asked by a Shiv Sena member that while Pakistani non-state actors were definitely responsible for the attack they could not have functioned smoothly without assistance from state actors.

“We must question the responsibility of this statement, just like the others that have come from New Delhi before,” the daily said and added: “It is not fair to draw conclusions and announce them at a public forum before the full inquiry into Pathankot is complete.”

Parrikar also said that this effort from a high-powered Indian committee was continuing for now. “Islamabad has already said that the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi appears to be involved. To go any further than this on the basis of conjecture will simply add to the complications already surrounding the raid on the military installation.”

The editorial went on to say that the key focus for both nations must be to solve the mystery and discover where the attack was planned and how it was carried out.

“…All possibilities need to be considered and it seems increasingly likely that Parrikar is also anxious to cover up security lapses on the Indian end. This matter too is under investigation in the country.

“What is vital is that Islamabad and New Delhi develop full cooperation so that the Pathankot incident is not permitted to stand in the way of taking ties back to normalcy.”

It observed that already, foreign secretary-level talks scheduled for January this year have been indefinitely postponed.

“New Delhi must understand that calling off dialogue and other exchanges with Pakistan simply plays into the hands of those who do not wish for peace between the two neighbours.

“In order to ensure that these elements do not succeed and give those seeking cooperation a chance at success, it is important the Pathankot investigation be handled both sensibly and with sensitivity so that further hype and hysteria is not built up.”

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