Ahead of Talks, Pakistan's Mixed Signals On Pathankot Terror Investigation

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Ahead of Talks, Pakistan's Mixed Signals On Pathankot Terror Investigation

Security personnel guarding the Pathankot air base, which was attacked by terrorists on January 2

Islamabad/New Delhi:  Amid uncertainty over talks, Pakistan appears to be sending mixed messages to India about how far its government is willing to go in taking action for the deadly attack on the Pathankot Air Force base last week.

Pakistani media reports say the country has handed over the initial findings of its investigation into the attack and New Delhi is expected to respond today.

India says the attackers were linked to the Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed and has handed over proof like phone numbers and audio transcripts of calls made by the six terrorists to their handlers in Pakistan.

Pakistani officials have claimed that the numbers that India has supplied are unregistered. They have reportedly asked New Delhi for more proof.

Seven Indian military personnel were martyred and 20 were injured in the pre-dawn attack on the strategic base in Punjab. India has made it clear that it expects Pakistan to take action on the evidence and punish those behind the attack.

To resolve discrepancies and forge a plan for how to tackle the terror investigation, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval may, sources said, meet with his counterpart Nasser Khan Janjua in a third country. Unconfirmed reports suggest the meeting could take place today.

Pakistan reportedly made up to five arrests in South Punjab on Monday, though the government there has not released any information on the identity of the suspects.

Though India had not confirmed the date, there was a loose understanding in recent weeks that talks between the Foreign Secretaries of both countries would be held in Islamabad on Friday - that's no longer possible, India has indicated, unless Pakistan demonstrates "firm and immediate action against those responsible for the air base attack", based on specific and actionable information provided by India.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has set up a joint committee of his top government, military and intel officers to investigate the evidence handed over by India.

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