Bashir’s brief from Pak Army: India
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Last Updated: Thursday, February 25, 2010, 23:36
Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Sharply reacting to Pakistan’s diatribe at the end of the Foreign Secretary talks, India on Thursday rubbished as ‘rhetoric and point scoring’ the press conference held by Salman Bashir and said the Pakistan Army had briefed him for the talks.

At the end of his talks with Nirupama Roy, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary held a press conference and said Kashmir was the core issue between India and Pakistan and that the dossier provided by India against Hafiz Saeed was ‘literature’.

India pointed out that it has given enough evidence and "not mere literature" as claimed by Pakistan and wants Pakistan to act against him.

They said Rao had invited her Pakistani counterpart for the talks with an "open mind" and India's point of view had been conveyed in a "mature" manner.

India now hopes Pakistan would also respond in a mature manner and act on India's concerns with regard to terrorism, which would determine whether the trust could be built or not.

"Proof of pudding is in eating," the sources said, adding India would watch whether Pakistan acts as it would be crucial for incremental progress in relations. India, however, has not set any "benchmarks" for Pakistan.

Noting that India has always believed that the door for talks should not be shut, the sources said it feels that the Foreign Secretary-level talks were "one small step" aimed at restoring trust that has been eroded by Mumbai attacks.

On failure of Pakistan to act against Jamaat-ud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, the sources said India wonders whether it was because he "knows too much" or was a part of Pakistani establishment.

The Indian sources also rejected Pakistan's contention that it does not have laws to prosecute Hafiz Saeed merely on the basis of his provocative speeches. They pointed out that Pakistan had amended its anti-terror law last year, giving it more powers to act in such cases.

Government sources expressed anger at what the Secretary said and dismissed it as ‘grandstanding’ that India will not indulge in. “We are not desperate for dialogue, they are,” they said.

Rejecting his information that Kashmir had dominated the talks that were held for the first time since 26/11, govt sources said 85% of the time was devoted to terror against India.

They further said Bashir was acting on the basis of a brief given to him by ‘GHQ (General Headquarters of Army) and men in khaki’ while Roy had instructions from a democratically elected government.

"The tone and tenor of the talks was good... But we are surprised at point scoring by Pakistan," the Indian government sources said.

With regard to the Pakistan Foreign Secretary's view that his country was "not desperate" for dialogue, the sources said even India was not desperate.

They went on to add that dialogue should not be measured in terms of desperation etc.

On his observation that Pakistan had seen ‘100s of Mumba (attacks)’, the government emphasised that the former was a victim of the terror of its own creation.

On Bashir's emphasis on more intelligence-sharing to prevent terror attacks, the Indian sources questioned Pakistan's "will" to extend "meaningful cooperation".

It was pointed out that seven dossiers of evidence had been given earlier with regard to Mumbai attacks but Pakistan was yet to unveil the full conspiracy of Mumbai attacks.

The sources also rubbished Bashir's point that India did not provide any information "officially" with regard to David Coleman Headley and Tahawur Rana, LeT operatives with Pakistani roots, who had played a key role in Mumbai attacks.

Bashir earlier said he had come to know through the press reports that Headley, "some American national", had been arrested in the US.

Questioning feigning of ignorance by Pakistan on Headley and Rana, the Indian sources said information relating to them was in public domain and nothing could be given to Pakistan officially as there had been no talks since they were arrested in October last year.

On raking of water issue, India feels that Pakistan is indulging in propaganda while seeking to convert technical matters into political matter.

Pakistan's objections to defence spending by India was also rubbished, with the sources saying that it was defensive in nature and not aimed at threatening anyone.

-PTI inputs

First Published: Thursday, February 25, 2010, 23:36

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