Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's substantive talks with Pakistan on the sidelines of the SAARC summit in Maldives did not go down well with the BJP. But it drew applause from Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah.
Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said Pakistan has done nothing to punish those responsible for the 26/11 Mumbai attack or control cross-border terrorism.
"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has erred in describing Gilani as a man of peace… This is not acceptable to the people of India," Sinha said.
The Congress shot back at the BJP. "The BJP's memory is weak. We want to ask, who went with the bus to Lahore, when did Kargil happen, when was the parliament attacked and who called MA Jinnah secular?" said Congress spokesman Manish Tiwari.
Abdullah said this was the only way to resolve issues between the two neighbours. "It is great that India and Pakistan are talking. This is what we have always been saying, that dialogue is the only option." He saw the substantive rather than just symbolic talks as a sign of maturity in the neighbours' relations.
Sinha also rejected external affairs minister SM Krishna's comments that the trust deficit between the two countries was shrinking, adding that "it will start shrinking only when Pakistan recognises the involvement of state actors in terrorist acts".