In a subtle but significant shift in stand, India wants Pakistan to do an earnest job of investigating the planning of the 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai as a condition for resuming dialogue. That’s all.
“All that India wants and expects from Pakistan is that … (it) must go for a full-steam, serious and focused investigation to bring the perpetrators of the attack to justice,” Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna told Hindustan Times on Wednesday. “The rest can be left for judicial processes to reach its logical conclusion.”
India has given Pakistan proof of its nationals’ involvement in the 26/11 terrorist attacks, naming Lashkar-e-Tayyeba founder Hafeez Saeed and operations chief Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi.
Angered by the 26/11 strikes, India suspended talks insisting on proof that Pakistan was dismantling its terror factory and punishing those suspected of planning the attacks.
There is a change in that now.
“Our intention seems to repair the relationship and resume the dialogue process … the minister here is emphasising the processes of justice in the Mumbai attacks,” said former foreign secretary Salman Haider, who helped midwife the composite dialogue format. There has been a graduated change in India’s stand starting with meeting Krishna had with his Pakistani counter Shah Mehmood Qureshi in 2009.
It was followed by a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement conference. Krishna said he spoke to Qureshi “the other day”.
India wants to talk, the minister said, asking, “But is Pakistan ready?” He said he believed the “cumulative pressure” of civil society initiatives should make the neighbour create a “situation of trust and belief” and he doesn’t think that people in Pakistan would want a see a “dead-end to the relationship with India”.
Krishna also said 2010 promises to be “engaging year” in India’s relationship with China.