India, Pak Ministers Avoid Meeting, Further Chill In Relations

In a reflection of further chill in Indo-Pak relations, Foreign Ministers of the two countries avoided a meeting even though they were at the same venue in Spain for the last three days to attend
india pak ministers avoid meeting further chill...
PTI November 29, 2009 19:06 IST

In a reflection of further chill in Indo-Pak relations, Foreign Ministers of the two countries avoided a meeting even though they were at the same venue in Spain for the last three days to attend the Commonwealth Summit.  

India was not keen on a meeting between Foreign Ministers of the two countries as it is unhappy over Pakistan's response to demand for action against those involved in the Mumbai attacks. 

India put the Composite Dialogue process with Pakistan on hold after the Mumbai terror attacks which were carried out by Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists from that country. 

New Delhi had been maintaining that the dialogue process cannot be resume unless Islamabad takes credible action against terror emanating from its soil. 

Sources said though India was not averse to talks with Pakistan at any level, but these serve no purpose on the ground given the attitude of Pakistan. 

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi were here on November 25, 26 and 27 to attend the foreign ministers meeting of the Commonwealth countries.  

Sources said that substantive meetings serve no purpose in terms of translating words into action by Pakistan.  Qureshi, who is representing his country in place of President Asif Ali Zardari, had yesterday said that Pakistan was always ready for talks with India but without any preconditions. 

Concluding his US visit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had on Wednesday said Pakistan was not doing enough to punish the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks and asserted that India "will not rest" till it is done.  

He said Pakistan should do more to punish the culprits some of whom are roaming freely and dismantle the terror infrastructure that continues to pose threat to India. 

Krishna and Qureshi had last met in New York on the sidelines of UN General Assembly in September during which the Pakistani leader gave assurance of doing everything to bring to justice the perpetrators of Mumbai attacks.  

The two were again together in Kabul earlier this month during the swearing-in of President Hamid Karzai for the second term.  

During a lunch hosted by Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta, Krishna enquired from Qureshi about the progress in the Mumbai attacks case and impressed upon him the need to speed it up.  India feels that the punishment to the culprits, however, still seems to be distant dream, considering the slow pace of legal process, that has been interrupted by technical hiccups, in Pakistan. 

While welcoming the indictment of seven suspects, including LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, by a Pakistani anti-terror court, India has said Pakistan should do more in punishing the perpetrators of the attacks, including JuD chief Hafiz Saeed. 

New Delhi is further disappointed by Islamabad's attitude in connection with the arrest of Laskhar-e-Toiba operatives David Coleman Headley and Tahawwur Rana, Pakistani-origin nationals, held by the FBI in Chicago last month for planning major attacks in India. 

On the basis of inputs from FBI, Pakistan has arrested a number of people having links with Headley and Rana but India has heard nothing officially from Pakistan in this connection.  This attitude, the sources point out, is despite Pakistan's repeated assurances by Pakistan to cooperate in fighting terrorism directed against India. PTI  

 
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