India, Pak back to war of words
A day after Islamabad announced the arrest of six people in the 26/11 Mumbai carnage, India and Pakistan were back to their war of words on Friday, reports HT Foreign Bureau.india Updated: Feb 14, 2009 15:23 IST
A day after Islamabad announced the arrest of six people in the 26/11 Mumbai carnage, India and Pakistan were back to their war of words on Friday.
External affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee said it was up to Pakistan to decide what kind of relationship it wanted with India. Keeping Islamabad on notice, he told Parliament: “Much depends on actions in the Mumbai case reaching their logical conclusion.”
Arguing that the “major onus” of responsibility rested on Pakistan to tackle terror and unearth the Mumbai conspiracy, Mukherjee said Islamabad must implement assurances given to India to deal with the menace as “solemn commitments”.
Mukherjee admitted that Pakistan’s announcement on Thursday was a “positive development”.
But he blasted Islamabad for its “prevarication, denial, diversionary tactics and misplaced sense of victimhood” since 26/11. “Throughout the attempt was to divert attention from the terrorist attack and Pakistan’s responsibilities to other issues,” he said in a statement.
Within hours, Pakistan hit back at New Delhi, suggesting that the reality of the Mumbai attacks were getting increasingly mixed with compulsions of domestic politics in India.
“Mr Mukherjee’s comments are essentially a rehash of the standard Indian line against Pakistan and in complete variance with the imperatives of a serious approach to uncover the ‘full facts’ relating to (the) Mumbai attacks and bringing the perpetrators to justice,” Abdul Basit, foreign office spokesman, said in Islamabad.
Basit said Pakistan expected India to “come clean on the multiple facets of the Mumbai tragedy and expose the names of persons and entities in India who were also responsible for acts of commission and omission in a transparent manner”.
He said Pakistan had so far refrained from commenting on India’s internal affairs. “We have offered our hand of cooperation, he said. “We do so in the interest of regional peace and security.”
The Congress, meanwhile, described Pakistan’s response to the 26/11 dossier as a victory for Indian diplomacy.
“In these 60 years, this is the first time we have an official acknowledgement from Pakistan which admits harbouring, exporting and even partly assisting in terror activities,” said Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Congress spokesperson.
“This is a triumph for Indian diplomacy, which also proves the global solidarity (not only US but several others) with us.”
First Published: Feb 14, 2009 14:18 IST