26/11: Pak reaches out,India calls it eyewash

Briefing foreign envoys on its response to the Mumbai terror attacks,Pakistan today called on India to cooperate with it to help bring the perpetrators to justice...

Written by Press Trust Of India | New Delhi | Published:January 20, 2009 12:35 am

Briefing foreign envoys on its response to the Mumbai terror attacks,Pakistan today called on India to cooperate with it to help bring the perpetrators to justice.

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani,too,in a meeting with visiting British Defence Secretary John Hutton,said that Islamabad will share with New Delhi the findings of a team of experts that is examining the information related to the Mumbai terror attacks provided by India.

Earlier speaking in the National Assembly or lower house of parliament,Gilani said when the Mumbai incident occurred,there was a general impression that Pakistan had been isolated as a result of its foreign policy but today the country’s point of view is being supported by the world.

But describing Islamabad’s response as an “eyewash”,Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju said the civilian government in Pakistan was “not strong enough to act on its own” and New Delhi was not satisfied with the steps taken so far. He warned that if Pakistan did not do enough,India would have to take action on its own.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee too talked tough. “Countries that do not follow zero tolerance to terrorism must be made to pay a heavy price by the international community,” Mukherjee told the CII-sponsored Partnership Summit 2009 in New Delhi.

Speaking to reporters,Pallam Raju said: “What they are doing right now is not enough. It looks like an eyewash. I think the civilian power centre in Pakistan is not strong enough to act on its own.”

In Islamabad,Indian High Commissioner Satyabrata Pal was briefed by Interior Minister Rehman Malik on the Pakistani probe into the terror attacks. Pal later told PTI that Malik had briefed him on the steps “already taken by the government of Pakistan as well as the steps it plans to take”. He said he appreciated the “clarity and candour” of Malik’s briefing.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi,briefing foreign envoys on Pakistan’s response to the terror attacks and its own probe,said “India should cooperate with Pakistan to help bring the culprits of this heinous crime to justice”. Qureshi “stressed that the blame game should be avoided” and “reaffirmed the government’s determination to extend full cooperation in investigating the Mumbai incident,” said a statement issued by the Foreign Office.

The meeting,co-chaired by Qureshi and Malik,was attended by ambassadors and high commissioners of most foreign missions in Islamabad. Official sources said the Indian High Commissioner was not invited for the meeting because he was briefed by Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir a few days ago.

In his address,Malik said the government had taken several “concrete steps”,including the detention of suspects,launch of a formal inquiry and forming a probe team comprising experts of the Special Investigation Group.

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