M A I N   N E W S

Positive move: India
‘Coercive diplomacy, irrefutable dossier made it possible’
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 12
It was after a long time that one saw External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee smiling tonight as he described as a “positive development” Islamabad’s admission that elements in Pakistan were involved in the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai and said India expected Pakistan to take credible steps to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure.

In a measured response after a meeting with senior ministers and officials, Mukherjee noted that Pakistan had sought more information and material from India relating to the investigation into the heinous crime. “We are examining Pakistan's request. After the examination, we will share what we can.”@@Earlier, Home Minister P Chidambaram said External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee would make a detailed statement on Pakistan’s response to the Indian dossier on the Mumbai attacks tomorrow in the Parliament. “The dossier of evidence prepared by India was an exceptionally tightly-argued document…it was a very cogently-argued document and nobody could ignore that.” @@Pakistan’s own admission that “part of the conspiracy” was hatched in its territory is being seen as a major diplomatic victory for India with foreign affairs and strategic experts observing that sustained international pressure had paid rich dividends and made Islamabad realise the futility of remaining in the denial mode any longer.@@However, reacting cautiously to Islamabad’s response to the dossier, the External Affairs Ministry noted that Pakistan has sought more information and material relating to the investigation. “The government of India will now examine the issues raised in the response by Pakistan. After that examination, we will share whatever we can with Pakistan,’’ the ministry said in a statement.@@The ministry said Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan Satyabrata Pal was informed by Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir this afternoon of Islamabad’s response to the Indian dossier. “In their official response, the Pakistan authorities have admitted that elements in Pakistan were involved in the terrorist attacks on Mumbai. They are still in the process of investigating the attacks, and have taken certain actions, including the arrest of some of those who were involved and filing an FIR. This is a positive development.’’@@New Delhi said it was India’s goal to bring the perpetrators of the attacks to book and to follow this process through to the end. ‘’We will also expect that the Pakistan government takes credible steps to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism in Pakistan.’’@@The statement was issued after External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee consulted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is recovering from his heart bypass surgery. He is also learnt to have discussed Pakistan’s response with Home Minister P Chidambaram, Defence Minister AK Antony, National Security Adviser MK Narayanan and Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon. @@Senior officials said Islamabad’s grudging admission that elements in Pakistan were indeed involved in the Mumbai attacks was the result of “coercive diplomacy” pursued by India and the “irrefutable” dossier of evidence prepared by New Delhi. They also acknowledged the role played by the US and other major powers in putting intense pressure on Pakistan to cooperate with New Delhi in bringing the perpetrators of the crime to justice or face international isolation.



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