Barack Obama: India air base attack 'inexcusable'

US President Barack Obama speaks during an event with city mayors from around the country in the East Room of the White House January 21, 2016 in Washington, DC. Image copyright AFP
Image caption Mr Obama said the attack was "another example of the inexcusable terrorism that India has endured for too long"

US President Barack Obama has urged Pakistan to show it is "serious" about curbing terror, citing a recent attack on an Indian air force base.

India accused Pakistan-based group Jaish-e-Mohammad of carrying out the assault in which seven Indian troops and six militants were killed.

Pakistan says it has arrested several members of the group, and is verifying fresh leads about the attackers.

Talks between the two countries had to be re-scheduled after the attack.

Mr Obama told the Press Trust of India news agency that the attack on the Pathankot airbase was "another example of the inexcusable terrorism that India has endured for too long".

Mr Obama cited both the attack on Pathankot as well as the deadly assault on Pakistan's Bacha Khan University to emphasise that Pakistan needed to display "zero tolerance" on terrorism.

He also praised Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for reaching out to his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif after the Pathankot attack.

Meanwhile Mr Sharif told reporters on Sunday that Pakistan was investigating the incident.

"I have received fresh leads from India on the Pathankot attack and we will look and examine those evidences given by India. We could have hidden it or forgotten it but we asserted that we have received the evidences," Mr Sharif said.

He added that he had spoken to Mr Modi and was hopeful that the perpetrators would soon be "brought to justice".

Hopes for Delhi-Islamabad detente were raised in late December after Mr Modi paid an unexpected visit to Mr Sharif on his way back from Afghanistan, and the two sides announced plans to resume peace talks. The attack has set back the peace initiative.

But officials from both sides have said the talks remained on the agenda.

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