M A I N   N E W S

India, Pak fail to narrow differences
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

Jalil Abbas JilaniNew Delhi, July 5
The trust deficit between India and Pakistan was clearly evident today as the two countries concluded their two-day Foreign Secretary-level talks with a commitment to carry forward the nascent peace process.

India made it clear to Pakistan that it must realise the urgency of bringing to justice the perpetrators of the Mumbai attack in the light of revelations made by Abu Jundal, key plotter of the mayhem, while Islamabad rejected any insinuation of any involvement of its state agencies in acts of terror in India.

“Terrorism poses the biggest threat to peace and stability in the region… I emphasised that bringing the guilty (of Mumbai attack) to justice would be the biggest confidence building measure (CBM) of all,’’ Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai said at a joint press conference with his Pakistani counterpart Jalil Abbas Jilani at the conclusion of their meeting.

Mathai said he had shared with the Pakistani side the outcome of Jundal’s interrogation, which suggested the involvement of Pakistani state actors in the Mumbai mayhem. He said India had provided more evidence on the 26/11 attack to Pakistan during the Home/Interior Secretary-level dialogue in May in Islamabad.

“The arrest and the ongoing interrogation of Jundal has now added urgency to this matter…we will continue to pursue this matter with determination to its logical conclusion,” Mathai said.

The Pakistani diplomat observed that terrorism was a common enemy of the two countries as both of them were the victims of the menace. “Trading charges will not take us anywhere… our government is very serious to move from adversarial relationship to positive narratives.”

Jilani said he had told Mathai that the entire evidence on Jundal should be shared with Pakistan so that it could investigate the matter. He said he had also offered a joint investigation into the Mumbai attack.

“There should be absolutely no setback (to the dialogue process) because we can’t afford a setback.” He said he had been associated with the dialogue process with India for quite sometime and had every reason to believe that that the two countries had made a lot of progress on all issues, including terrorism.

While Mathai welcomed the movement on the trade and economic front between the two countries, Jilani was of the view that their Home and Interior ministers as well as respective agencies should meet more often in order to share information and defeat terrorism.

In a joint statement issued after the foreign secretary-level talks, the two countries said their talks on peace and security, including CBMs, Jammu and Kashmir and promotion of friendly exchanges were held in a frank and constructive manner.

The Foreign Secretaries reviewed the ongoing implementation of the already adopted nuclear and conventional CBMs. It was decided that separate meetings of expert-level groups on nuclear and conventional CBMs would be held to discuss implementation and strengthening existing CBMs and suggest additional mutually acceptable steps that could build greater mutual trust and confidence. The dates of the meetings of expert-level groups would be determined through diplomatic channels.

The two sides also recognised the need to strengthen the existing cross-LoC CBMs for streamlining the arrangements to facilitate trade. They decided to convene a meeting of the working group on cross-LoC CBMs on July 19 in Islamabad to recommend steps in this regard.

Points of contention

n India wants Pakistan to realise the urgency of bringing to justice the 26/11 perpetrators in the light of revelations made by Abu Jundal

n Islamabad has rejected any insinuation of any involvement of its State agencies in acts of terror in India

n India has shared the outcome of Jundal’s interrogation with Pakistan that suggests the involvement of State actors in 26/11

n Pakistan wants entire evidence on Jundal to be shared

n Pakistan has termed terror a common enemy of the two countries, saying both were its victims 





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