Indian press euphoric as Pakistan "blinks" | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Indian press euphoric as Pakistan "blinks"

delhi Updated: Feb 13, 2009 23:28 IST

Indian newspapers revelled Friday in what they saw as an unprecedented U-turn after Islamabad admitted that last year's Mumbai attacks were partly planned on Pakistani soil.

"Pak blinks, finally" ran the front page banner headline in The Times of India, which confessed to being surprised by the admission and the announcement that Pakistan was holding the alleged mastermind of the attacks and five other suspects.

"The confession surprised many because it came close on the heels of a series of red herrings which suggested that Islamabad ... would point its finger at organisations not active on its territory," the Times said.

As a result, Thursday's statement by interior ministry chief Rehman Malik has "surpassed India's expectations," it added.

"From Pakistan, Says Pakistan," was the headline of the Indian Express which said that, following "denial after denial," Pakistan had taken "a first step" towards admitting the facts.

Two of those in Pakistani custody are senior leaders of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistan-based militant group India has blamed for the attacks on its financial capital in November that killed 165 people.

The Hindustan Times welcomed Malik's announcement and stressed that India's response needed to be measured, but positive.

"Just when everyone was getting used to the serve-and-return, serve-and-return routine ... Pakistan has lobbed the ball into India's court," the Times said in an editorial.

While noting that Malik had stopped short of admitting India's charge that Pakistani state agencies were involved, the newspaper said this was "no time for nit-picking."

"New Delhi should welcome this development as it constitutes a major step forward by Islamabad in accepting that it has the primary role in ensuring justice for Mumbai's victims," it said.