ISLAMABAD - Former interior minister Senator Rehman Malik yesterday termed the case lodged by Pakistan in Pathankot incident as a diplomatic and goodwill gesture towards India.

Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of Punjab, Pakistan, on Friday registered an FIR against the alleged attackers of the Pathankot airbase in India and their abettors, kicking off a formal investigation into the attack which had claimed the lives of at least seven Indian troops and four militants in January this year.

In a statement, he said the FIR’s legal position as per the charter of Interpol raised many questions. Malik, who is the chairman of Senate Committee on Interior, said after this FIR every Pakistani looked to be suspected as it was against unknown suspects. If this kind of FIR was ever lodged in PPP tenure, “surly people would have called us traitors.”

He however, appreciated the point that the FIR was lodged based on the information Indian National Security Adviser had shared with Pakistani authorities. The senator said he believed mere sharing of few mobile numbers by the Indian NSA were not enough information to lodge an FIR.

Rehman Malik said earlier an FIR was registered against Ajmal Kassab in Pakistan during the PPP’s government but after his confessional statement and frequent requests by Indian government duly forwarded via Interpol.

He said it is high time for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to take up the issue of Samjhauta Express attack with the Indian counterpart insisting him to lodge an FIR in the case. He said Pakistan should wait for the response by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and see if he orders the lodging of FIR against those Indians – including Colonel Purohit – who were involved in the heinous act of terrorism when Samjhauta Express was attacked on February 18, 2007 killing 65 innocent Pakistanis.

“It may be recalled that recently India once again has interrupted the Samjhauta Express being apprehensive of the extremists attack on the train, said the former minister.

Senator Malik said diplomatic relations were always based on goodwill and mutual respect from both sides. He said Pakistan cannot continue goodwill gestures if “India continued to give us cold shoulder.” He said PM Modi must change his policy of hate for Pakistan and stop RAW from interfering in Balochistan and tribal areas via Afghanistan.