Well, Gilani, what do you say now? After US leak, it’s time for Pak to answer

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Recent developments in India-Pakistan relations do not offer much hope of resumption of ties on a clean slate between the neighbors, whatever may have been the spirit behind Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s overture to Pakistan’s Yousaf Raza Gilani in Thimphu in April. The goings-on in respect of Afghanistan are also likely to make Islamabad more belligerent and less amenable to reason in respect of its dealings with New Delhi. The Kabul angle apart, there is not much to expect in terms of improvement in India-Pakistan relations. Inability to change one’s neighbors cannot mean that persistently malignant behavior by a country next door should be rewarded with sweet reasonableness. Indeed, there is something to the thinking that had India made an appropriate response after the July 2008 attack on its embassy in Kabul, key elements in Islamabad would have found natural disincentives in planning 26/11. As matters stand now, there is little reason to believe that Pakistan has any stakes in conducting a sincere dialogue with India. The David Headley disclosures about the active involvement of serving and retired Pakistan Army and Inter-Services Intelli-gence officials in the November 2008 attack on Mumbai provide ample reason to believe that Islamabad will have no reason to take upon itself the task of punishing those, who had orchestrated, planned and executed the terrorist assault on Mumbai. To do so would be to condemn itself. It is clear as day why Pakistan seized on everything to nullify the July 15 foreign Minister-level talks in Islamabad. It had no interest in moving forward on the premise that India had constructed: that a return to normal dialogue between the two countries can happen only when Pakistan gave evidence of sincerely pursuing the planners and executors of 26/11. So single-minded is Pakistan in not returning to normality that its foreign Minister said that it was pointless to hold talks with India if the latter was not prepared to discuss Kashmir at this stage. If New Delhi falls for this, it would be tearing up its earlier resolve of not engaging Pakistan so long as the 26/11 masterminds are not brought to justice. It is time to appreciate that there have been enough diplomatic trapeze acts on the question of talks with Pakistan. It should now be our turn to ask Islamabad some questions. The biggest intelligence leak in American history, made public by an organization called WikiLeaks and still unraveling, which clearly exposes the Pakistan establishment’s special autonomous cell to create terrorist mayhem in India and Afghanistan, also lends urgency to this. Recent statements in Washington, New Delhi and Islamabad by senior US officials, including National Security Adviser James Jones, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen and AfPak special envoy Richard Holbrooke, also make it clear that the LeT is the Taliban’s “co-equal” in terms of its ideology, ability and propensity to orchestrate the international jihad. This confirms about the jihadist ideological continuum transcending the boundaries of terrorist organizations in Pakistan. Instead of drawing up itineraries for conversations with Pakistan, it is this issue that should be followed up with that country.
Courtesy: Deccan Chronicle

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