Islamabad, (IANS) Pakistan has “continued to stall on trying to punish” the Mumbai terror attack suspects, increasing Indian frustration, said a leading Pakistani daily following foreign secretaries’ talks in New Delhi.
An editorial in the Dawn Saturday said that the only outcome of the talks in New Delhi is that “there is no outcome”.
“Matters remain where they were before (Pakistan Foreign Secretary) Jalil Abbas Jilani and (Indian Foreign Secretary) Ranjan Mathai met. For two days, they put their heads together and then came out with a joint statement that might as well not have been there, notwithstanding the familiar ‘they agreed’ refrain on issues ranging from visa liberalisation and cultural contacts to Kashmir and nuclear CBMs,” it said.
Jilani refuted Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s charge that the evidence gathered after Zabihuddin Ansari’s arrest confirmed Pakistani ‘state actors’ were involved in the Mumbai carnage.
“Sadly, once again on the eve of talks, prospects of peace dimmed following the arrest of the suspected terrorist in circumstances that remain a mystery.
“And judging by its reaction, India has still not emerged from the shadows of the Mumbai attack. At the same time, Pakistan has continued to stall on trying to punish the Mumbai suspects, increasing Indian frustration,” the daily added.
Mumbai terror attack in November 2008 was carried out by 10 Pakistanis that left 166 people, including many foreigners, dead.
The editorial went on to say that beginning with their meeting in Bhutan in 2010, then prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh met several times and pledged to push the peace process forward in a manner that appeared genuine.
The two prime ministers met again in the Maldives and South Korea, “but without achieving a breakthrough even on less contentious issues”.
The editorial said that the Most Favoured Nation issue is bogged down by Islamabad’s insistence on the removal of non-tariff barriers and in May this year, the interior secretaries spoke of an agreement on a liberal visa regime “at an early date”, and in June the defence secretaries reported failure on Siachen.
“This is a record the two sides should be ashamed of,” said the daily.
“The only consolation for the people of South Asia is that the two governments continue to talk. There is no breakdown of communication, and this perhaps is the only sop,” it added.