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Pakistan media blame India for deadlock in talks

world Updated: Jul 16, 2010 11:33 IST

IANS
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Leading Pakistani newspapers on Friday blamed India for the deadlock in the first major bilateral engagement since the Mumbai terror attack.

But the accusatory tone varied among newspapers, with The Dawn accusing New Delhi of intransigence and saying that the Indian side led by External Affairs Minister S M Krishna was inflexible.

The Nation said that India would continue to use such bilateral interactions with Pakistan "to undermine the gains made in the composite dialogue" that started in 2004 and was suspended after the 2008 Mumbai attack.

Krishna and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi ended almost seven hours of talks in Islamabad on Thursday with no common ground but reiterating their known positions on thorny issues such as Jammu and Kashmir.

"The Pakistan-India trust building dialogue ended in a deadlock as the two sides failed to come up with a clear roadmap for sustainable engagement or a consensus on confidence-building measures," the Dawn said in its main story on the front page.

It said the Indian delegation was inflexible and refused to discuss issues of core concern to Pakistan including the dragging Jammu and Kashmir dispute and the situation in the Kashmir Valley.

"So great was the gap between the two sides that Dawn has learnt that the Indians were not ready to agree to a time-table for the trust-building process, keeping it open ended and putting off Pakistan's concerns indefinitely," it said.

The News said "India's intransigence left a rather bad taste in diplomatic mouths" and that New Delhi displayed inflexibility during the discussions.

"The Indian side was extremely inflexible saying that they did not have the mandate to factor in for Jammu and Kashmir and the Siachen glacier issues," it said.

But the News took a middle ground in its editorial, saying a number of positives emerged from the talks. "There is no quick fix, but at least the possibility of a fix for some things is on the table. Keep talking."

The Daily Times took a different line from everyone else, saying the India-Pakistan engagement had ended on a positive note. But its photograph of the two foreign ministers was captioned: "Tough talk."