PM's Pak visit hangs in balance as talks inch along
Prime Minister Manmohan told Hindustan Times in an exclusive interview that he will visit Pakistan only if the Indo-Pak negotiations have a positive outcome. Jayanth Jacob reports. Demands and accusationsUpdated: Jul 08, 2012 02:22 IST
Prime Minister Manmohan told Hindustan Times in an exclusive interview that he will visit Pakistan only if the Indo-Pak negotiations have a positive outcome.
However, it has been learnt that there was little progress in this regard during the foreign secretary-level talks, held from July 4 to 5.
While India is willing to stop short of demanding the actual arrest of LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, Pakistan is giving no quarter on the issue of Siachen's demilitarisation.
India continued to emphasise on terrorism, telling its neighbour to take tangible action such as clamping down on anti-India rhetoric, non-provision of special treatment to people arrested in connection with the 26/11 attacks and moving forward with the probe against the terror accused - even if certain "judicial constraints" have to be undertaken.Indian officials pointed out that while Saeed continued to spout anti-India rhetoric, Pakistan was able to rein in similar personalities - such as Jaish-e-Mohammed founder Masood Azhar - in the past.
Also, they said that reports of 26/11 accused getting preferential treatment in Pakistan jails were not auguring well with the Indian public.
The Indian side, which shared information on places that 26/11 handler Abu Jundal visited in Pakistan, also expressed its disappointment over the delay in getting a voice sample of the Mumbai masterminds and Pakistan's seeming disinterest in following up leads provided to them.
Pakistan, on the other hand, stated that they were doing everything possible and urged India to provide "tangible evidence" on the 26/11 attacks. Blaming "domestic judicial realities" for the low conviction rates in terror cases, it said the proceedings in the 2008 Marriot hotel attack case had also slowed to a crawl.
Though Pakistan is keen on seeing the Siachen region demilitarised, the Kargil incident is still too fresh in India's mind. It has ruled out any "trading-off" between the Siachen and Sir Creek issues, stating that each of them has to be seen on "its own merit".
India has also stated that resolution of the Sir Creek issue alone cannot be a basis for Singh visiting Pakistan.