The Pakistani government has seemingly kept its word to India, with reports coming of arrests made of over 12 suspects from Jaish-e-Muhammad (JM), the group identified by India as behind the Pathankot attack. Although originally it was reported that Masood Azhar was a part of this number, the fact that even the Foreign Office seems to know nothing of this implies that this may not be case. While the government claims that notable offices and properties of JM have been sealed, police and other officials in the areas where the raids have supposedly been conducted deny this or claim ignorance. If the government has indeed conducted search operations in Bhawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Raheem Yaar Khan and Multan – areas where JM functions out of – the secrecy might be by design, aimed at minimising any potential backlash from extremist outfits. But at the same time, the claim of arrests has yet to be verified; indeed, the Indian government has also not been given confirmation regarding the reported arrest of Masood Azhar or any other terrorists.

India has taken Pakistan’s claim of arrests made with a pinch of salt. The talks have been all but rescheduled, with only a day left, and things unlikely to change for the positive in the meanwhile. As far as action goes, if Pakistan has arrested Masood Azhar and other suspected of being connected to the attack, it can do no more until further evidence is provided from the Indian side. Nawaz Sharif wants to send a team to Pathankot to investigate; this should be allowed to ensure that those caught have evidence against them that holds up in a court of law.

India on its part is still awaiting confirmation. It is being speculated that the National Security Advisors (NSAs) of both countries might meet before the planned Foreign Secretary-level dialogue – probably so that India can be told firsthand that the arrests have been made.

The speed and efficiency which the Pakistani government has worked with is unprecedented. In the past, the state has been relatively sluggish in its reactions to attacks and investigations conducted always seem to have unanswered questions surrounding them. While the Indian government’s scepticism is not altogether unwarranted, the lukewarm response received as a result of the arrests implies that it is still not ready to trust the Pakistani side. This must change if both countries are looking to establish a lasting peace in the region. Pakistan has not deterred from its stance of helping India find its suspects. It is time India takes notice and starts responding in kind.