Pakistan was under global pressure

U.S. called for swift action; China issued two statements condemning the terror strike.

January 14, 2016 03:22 am | Updated December 04, 2021 11:00 pm IST - New Delhi:

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Army chief Raheel Sharif arrive for the high-level meeting to discuss the arrests. Photo: Special Arrangement

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Army chief Raheel Sharif arrive for the high-level meeting to discuss the arrests. Photo: Special Arrangement

The action by Pakistan, promised by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a telephonic conversation with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi last week, had been expected for some days, especially after pressure from several sides.

The Indian government had made it clear that there would be “no talks without action” from Pakistan on the basis of evidence and leads handed over by India about the Pathankot attackers who killed 7 Indian soldiers.

In a telephone call on Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry repeated the tough message, calling for swift action, to which Mr. Sharif had replied “the world will see our effectiveness and sincerity” in fighting terror. In two separate statements, China too had condemned the attack, saying it “shared the pain and anger of the people of India.”

In the meanwhile the Ministry of External Affairs kept up the pressure by refusing to confirm or cancel the Foreign Secretary-level talks which had been informally agreed to for January 15. Until just a day before the arrests in Pakistan, officials had said they had seen “little evidence of any action on the ground”, calling news reports about Pakistani officials moving in the case as “trial balloons.”

Also read: >Pakistan detains Jaish founder Masood Azhar for questioning

Security experts also warned against reading too much into the action against Jaish-e-Mohammad, the group that was set up by Masood Azhar after he was released at Kandahar by the Indian government in 1999 in exchange for hostages on board IC-814.

India has demanded action against Azhar for the 2001 Parliament attack and the deadly bombing of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly building in Srinagar a few months before that, as well as several terror attacks since then.

The Pakistan government, that has never explained how Azhar appeared in Pakistan shortly after his release, and has not curbed any of his recent public statements vowing violence on India, only acted against the JeM in 2003, when it banned the outfit for attempting to assassinate former President Gen. Musharraf. Azhar was put under house arrest at the time, but released subsequently.

> Click here for the full text of Pakistan's press statement on the arrest of the JeM members.

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