To save aborting the nascent peace process, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday called up Narendra Modi from Colombo, assuring full support in the investigations into the terrorist attack on the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot, even as the government was under intense pressure, both from its allies as well as opposition Congress to call off talks.While PM Modi emphasised the need for Pakistan to take firm and immediate action against the organisations and individuals responsible for or linked to the attack, it is believed that National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar are in touch with their Pakistani counterparts and have shared telephonic intercepts of terrorists and numbers to whom they had called, prior to the attack. “Specific and actionable information in this regard has been provided to Pakistan,” the PMO confirmed. Sources said that Sharif also called his NSA Lt General Nasser Janjua and foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz from the Sri Lankan capital , directing them to coordinate with India. Sharif told Modi he is upset with this attack and requested the PM to continue on the roadmap to peace that they had decided on.While the government continued to say, it is mulling options to decide about continuing dialogue and is awaiting Islamabad’s response, a view is emerging to go ahead with talks, but to limit their scope to discussing the issue of terrorism only. Officials here also confided that they were awaiting DNA samples of slain terrorists to be handed over to Pakistan along with Letter Rogatory (LR), which is a formal request from a court to a foreign court for judicial assistance. The terrorists are believed to have made multiple calls to their handlers, based in Bahawalpur in Pakistan’s Punjab, which used to be the headquarters of banned terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad. (JeM).Sources here said, while PM was firm with Sharif on telephone, conveying to him that there was telltale evidence of the assistance from Pakistan to the culprits, over the past two days while presiding over meetings of the National Security Council (NSC), he also expressed his displeasure at the gaps in India’s security setup. He has been peeved particularly at the poor security along the borders that allowed the terrorists to sneak in. More worrisome however is the fact that Pathankot is the fifth attack in the area since September 2013, despite fencing and patrolling. PM during his meetings has also asked security czars to find technological solutions to plug the border, which according to them was difficult to patrol, due to its riverine terrain.Sources also said that United Jihad Council (UJC) claiming responsibility had further eliminated the argument that the terrorists involved were non-State actors. “The UJC, whose main faction is the Kashmir-based Hizbul Mujahideen, lacks the werewithal, stamina as well as cadres for such lethal fidayeen strikes,” they added, pointing out that someone in the official machinery in Islamabad could be firing from their shoulders. Mostly security establishments here are in consensus that Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) was widely suspected to be behind the attack with active support from elements in the Pakistan military.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

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Nawaz Sharif calls Modi, assures support in investigations, but questions remain