WASHINGTON: State Department Spokesperson John Kirby on Friday stated that terrorist groups are trying to undermine Pak-India efforts and they are sowing doubt in the minds of national leaders by conducting attacks on both sides.
Kirby gave these remarks when a reporter said that whenever Pakistan and India come very close to have talks, dialogue, and meeting at the highest level, some elements try to sabotage these efforts at the last minute.
“It should come as a shock to no one that terrorist groups will try to undermine those sorts of efforts by conducting spectacular attacks to do exactly that, to sow fear, and to hopefully sow doubt in the minds of national leaders towards a level of cooperation that can have a real a practical effect. And obviously, we don’t want to see that happen and we’re encouraged by the dialogue that has recently taken place between India and Pakistan, and we’d like to see that continue,” the spokesperson remarked.
He said the United States want them to continue to have a dialogue and to continue to look for ways to cooperate against a common threat.
He said recent conversation between both Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his counterpart Narendra Modi was a welcome sign, both condemning the terrorist attack on the air station and expressing their shared commitment to fighting terrorism.
“That was not an insignificant discussion that they had, nor was it an insignificant commitment that they made, and it’s exactly the kind of commitment that we want them to continue to make,” Kirby added.
The January 2 assault on the Pathankot air base came just days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi became the first Indian leader to visit Pakistan in 11 years, in a diplomatic outreach that had raised hopes of a softening in relations between the rivals.
The attack was a rare instance of the targeting of an Indian military installation outside disputed Kashmir.
India says the assault, which left seven soldiers dead, was carried out by the banned Jaish-e-Mohammed, which is based in Pakistan and was set up to fight Indian rule in Kashmir.
Pakistan banned the group in 2002, the year after it was blamed for an attack on the Indian parliament that took the two neighbours to the brink of war.
Pakistan was quick to condemn the air base attack, and Sharif spoke to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, expressing condolences and saying Pakistan would investigate any information that India provides.
In a separate statement, Nawaz Sharif‘s office said the government has set up a committee “to probe the allegations of alleged involvement of certain individuals” in the incident in India. The committee is headed by a senior officer at the Counter Terrorism Department, Rai Tahir, and its members are officers from the civil and military intelligence agencies.