Islamabad: The Pakistani state cannot sweep under the carpet militant claims of responsibility for the terrorist attack on an air force base in India, a newspaper said on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will have to act following his government’s statement that it was working on leads provided by New Delhi in the wake of the Saturday attack on the IAF base at Pathankot, The Nation said.
The audacious strike killed seven security personnel. All six terrorists, believed to be from Pakistan, also died in the assault.
“It cannot be that Sharif tells his Indian counterpart that terrorists always try and derail the peace process between the two countries, and then the state here tries to sweep under the carpet the claims of an armed attack made by a group whose leadership is based in Pakistan,” The Nation said in an editorial.
Syed Sadaqat Husain, a spokesperson for the United Jihad Council (UGC), an umbrella jehadi group based in Pakistani Kashmir, claimed that the UJC was responsible for the Pathankot attack.
The Nation said the claim had “created several problems for Pakistan” and amounted to “a gauntlet thrown down to the Pakistani state”.
“The claim will invariably draw yet more scrutiny of anti-India militants based inside Pakistan, and in Kashmir in particular,” it said.
The daily admitted that the UJC leadership was “believed to be politically close to the Pakistani state”.
“If the state wants to convey that it speaks with one voice and that dialogue resumption between India and Pakistan is the result of a consultative process and consensus decision-making, then it must demonstrate that the UJC claim is being taken seriously.”
The editorial added: “If the UJC claim is a ruse, it should be exposed as such. If not, the architects of the Pathankot attack need to be brought to justice.”