NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday tried to clear the air over the NIA team’s reciprocal visit to Pakistan on Pathankot attack, saying the neighbouring country has asked for more time to study the evidence provided to it and has not denied entry to the Indian agency probing the attack.
An investigation team from Pakistan had visited India to study the attack and was presented with evidence proving the involvement of elements from across the border. Swaraj said the Indian High Commissioner had spoken to Pakistan authorities in this regard twice and they had sought more time.
The Minister said the NDA government followed a three-pronged strategy in dealing with Pakistan, including the aim to address all issues through dialogue without the involvement of a third party. Terror and talks cannot go together, Swaraj said during a press conference held here to mark two years of the Modi government.
Despite irritants in India-Pakistan relations, Swaraj claimed that the NDA government’s policy on their neighbour had borne results. “There has been a sea change in Pakistan’s behaviour. Earlier, they denied their role in attacks like Mumbai, but this time after the Pathankot attack, PM Nawaz Sharif called up PM Narendra Modi and assured action if proof was given,” she said. Swaraj refered to Modi’s unannounced visit to Lahore in December last year and Sharif’s phone call to the Indian Prime Minister a day ahead of the latter’s heart surgery in London last month to highlight the warmth in the relationship between the two leaders.
Swaraj, who visited Pakistan last year, said, “Warmth in relations helps ease issues. But that does not mean we would look the other way due to the charms of the relationship.”