Reacting to Pakistan's acceptance that "a part of the conspiracy" of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks was hatched in the country, Kashmiri separatist leaders have accused Islamabad of having "bowed to pressure" from India and the US.
"Till the other day Pakistan said there was not enough evidence and now suddenly they have bowed to pressure. Pakistan has a very weak foreign policy," said Syed Ali Geelani, chairman of the hardline faction of the separatist Hurriyat Conference.
Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik said at a crowded news conference in Islamabad Thursday that the terrorists, who slaughtered over 170 people in Mumbai in November and who India says were Pakistanis, were "non-state actors".
However, he added that "a part of the conspiracy has been done in Pakistan" and a first information report (FIR) was registered in Islamabad against nine people.
Javaid Mir of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Forum (JKLF) said Pakistan's internal problems coupled with pressure from the US and India had forced Islamabad to take such an action.
While senior leaders of the moderate faction of the Hurriyat declined to comment on the development, some mid-level leaders like Zaffar Ahmad Bhat said that since both India and Pakistan were probing the Mumbai attacks there was hope that something positive would come out from such investigations.
The United Jehad Council (UJC), which is based in Pakistani Kashmir, issued a statement questioning the legitimacy of the evidence provided by India.
“Pakistani rulers have fallen prey to the conspiracies of India and America. The UJC strongly condemns the decision," said the UJC statement, which was faxed to media persons in Srinagar.