It’s a disclosure that’s going to test the so-called Ufa spirit, which essentially means not letting terror attacks derail the course of dialogue to resolve issues between India and Pakistan. In a matter-of-fact manner, India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh told the parliament on July 30 that the terrorists who targeted Gurdaspur came from Pakistan, and warned of “a befitting reply”.
It’s not clear what form this befitting reply take, but for now going by the latest signals and messaging, New Delhi seems to have taken a measured view not to allow the Gurdaspur incident to deflect it from the planned meeting of the National Security Advisers of the two countries. The NSA-level meeting, which will focus on terror-related issues, was the key outcome of the July 11 meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in the Russian city of Ufa.
“A view on continuing dialogue with Pakistan will be taken by the government as part of diplomatic strategy,” said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
Mr Jaitley’s statement indicates that India will play the waiting game to collect concrete evidence of Pakistan’s complicity in this attack before confronting Islamabad at the NSA-level meeting. This measured restraint shows a new strategy on New Delhi’s part, which means shunning sharp rhetoric for the sake a more enduring resolution of the cross-border terror issue that continues to cast a long shadow over troubled ties between the two estranged neighbours.
Pakistan has predictably rebutted India’s allegations. “In the Gurdaspur incident, blames were apportioned to Pakistan in the Indian media, even when the encounter with terrorists was still going on,” a statement from Pakistan’s foreign office said.
“Pointing fingers before investigation is not a healthy trend,” foreign office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah was quoted as saying by Dawn online.
In the worst violence in Punjab for over a decade, four policemen and three civilians were slaughtered on July 27.
The home minister said the GPS devices belonging to the terrorists found after they were killed at the end of a 12-hour long gunbattle showed that they crossed into India through Ravi river.
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