A few baby steps by Pakistan are big strides for India

A few baby steps by Pakistan are big strides for India
A few baby steps by Pakistan are big strides for India

New Delhi

Neither will confirm Masood Azhar’s detention

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap] few baby steps, Pakistan needed just these to convince India that it was sincerely pursuing a crackdown against the terrorists who plotted and executed the recent Pathankot terror attack. The two sides on Thursday “mutually” deferred the Foreign secretary-level talks even as India hailed Pakistan action against the cadres of the Jaish-e-Mohammed(JeM).

Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and his counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhary spoke to each other and it was agreed that their parleys would be rescheduled to the “very near future”. The talks were scheduled for January 15.

For the record, External affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said, “We are looking for the credible and comprehensive action to bring all the perpetrators of Pathankot terror attack to justice.”

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]G[/dropcap]oing by Pakistan’s previous track record and its handling of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack investigation, few would seriously take its claim of action against the suspects in the Pathankot terror plot. This is evident from the fact that even after 48 hours of the crackdown, the Pakistan Foreign office spokesperson on Thursday was not ready to confirm reports that JeM chief Masood Azhar and his brother have been taken into custody. The two were identified as the main culprits behind the Pathankot attack.

And yet India was reluctant to question such half-hearted approach by Pakistan which is desperately trying to convince the world community that it was doing everything possible to curb the terror elements active on tis soil. If Pakistan has its own compulsions to take these baby steps, India has its own reasons not to look beyond the smokescreen of Pak’s duplicity. Holding dialogue with Pakistan at this stage will invite backlash from BJP’s own supporters, so Modi will ideally like Pak to take some “sale-able” action that could be used to influence public opinion.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]fter his historic visit to Pakistan last month, Prime Minister Modi can not unduly castigate his Pak counterpart Nawaz Sharif without also admitting that his entire Pakistan diplomacy has been a failure so far. So, New Delhi continues to give the impression that Pakistan has overnight transformed into a “good boy” who has to be given time to prove wrong his critics.

Experts feel that if Pakistan was sincere, the Sharif government will not pretend that it was unaware about Azhar Masood’s detention. Similarly, if India wanted to do business with Pakistan on its own terms, it would have forced Pakistan to disclose the “concrete’ action initiated by it against the terror masterminds. It is beyond anyone’s comprehension how India could express satisfaction over Pakistan action when it has done precious little but to detain a few unmanned JeM activists.

Still, India said it will extend all help to a special team Pakistan proposes to send to Pathankot to investigate the terror attack on the IAF base. Swarup said India viewed the crackdown on the JeM terrorist group as an “important and positive first step”.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]”T[/dropcap]he action taken against JeM is an important and positive first step. We also note that the government of Pakistan considering to send a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the Pathankot terror attack,” he said.

“We look forward to the visit of the SIT. Our investigative agencies will extend all cooperation to bring the perpetrators of the attack to justice,” he added.
India has told Pakistan that the six terrorists who attacked the Indian Air Force (IAF) station in Pathankot in Punjab on January 2, killing seven security personnel, were Pakistanis and allied to the JeM.

The spokesman noted that considerable progress had been made into the investigation into the alleged links of Pakistani terrorists to the attack on the IAF base.
He said India and Pakistan had agreed to reschedule the talks between their foreign secretaries which were to take place in Islamabad on Friday. The spokesman also said the fact the two countries had agreed to reschedule the talks “is a very positive indication”.

He added “that the National Security Advisers of the two countries were in regular touch.”

Navin is a senior journalist with years of experience in covering India’s Capital city. His keen observations and ability to create the big picture from disparate pieces of information is invaluable.
Navin Upadhyay


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