ISLAMABAD/Colombo - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif currently in Sri Lanka on an official visit yesterday approached his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and assured him all-out cooperation in hunting down the perpetrators of Pathankot airbase attack, hours after their national security advisers spoke to each other.

Acknowledging the urgency of the situation, Nawaz Sharif placed the call from Colombo and the conversation indicated that both prime ministers were in favour of continuing the recently renewed diplomatic engagement.

According to a Foreign Office statement in Islamabad, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif telephoned Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the two leaders showed resolve to fight terrorism together through mutual cooperation.

The prime minister who conveyed his sorrow and grief to the Indian counterpart over the losses in Pathankot attack and said terrorists always try to derail the process of peace between the two countries.

New Delhi has provided Islamabad with what it says ‘actionable information’ about the potential plotters of Pathankot terror attack and Pakistan said it immediately launched investigations in the light of ‘Indian leads’.

The leads were first shared by Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval with his Pakistani counterpart Lt Gen (Retd) Nasser Janjua who is also accompanying the Prime Minister Sharif in his Sri Lanka visit.

Foreign Office of Pakistan had soon after the start of the attack offered India its cooperation in dealing with terrorism stating the challenge of terrorism calls for strengthening our resolve of the two countries to a cooperative approach.

According to Indian media, in the phone call that lasted about 15 minutes, Narendra Modi called on Islamabad to take “firm and immediate action” against those behind the attack on an Indian airbase.

“Prime Minister Modi strongly emphasised the need for Pakistan to take firm and immediate action against the organisations and individuals responsible for and linked to the Pathankot terrorist attack. Specific and actionable information in this regard has been provided to Pakistan,” the statement issued by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs shortly after the telephone call said.

Nawaz assured Modi that his government was investigating the leads provided by India to Pakistan’s National Security Adviser, Gen (retd) Janjua.

The statement said “Both the prime ministers agreed that a cordial and cooperative relationship between two countries would be the most appropriate response to the nefarious designs of the terrorists.”

Speaking to Modi, Nawaz reportedly “appreciated the maturity shown by the government of India in its statements,” while conveying his “sadness and grief” over the loss of lives.

Quoting sources, The Hindu newspaper reported that national security advisers have spoken twice since the attack began, including once on Tuesday morning.

Nawaz’s statement Tuesday noted that whenever a “serious effort” for peace between the India and Pakistan was launched, “terrorists try to derail the process”.

Modi’s comments came as India’s defence minister said the Pathankot attack had exposed “some gaps” in security following media criticism of how the incident was handled.

Gunshots could still be heard from the base on Monday - more than 48 hours after the raid - leading some to question why it took so long to neutralise the six assailants, all of whom were finally killed.

“I do see some gaps (in security), which will be clear after investigations,” minister Manohar Parrikar told journalists.

He stressed that the base was a “complicated area” spread over nearly 2,000 hectares and housing 3,000 families.The Pathankot attack was claimed Monday by the United Jihad Council, an umbrella group for jihadist outfits fighting in the Indian-occupied Kashmir.