'Mumbai attack continued to haunt Indo-Pak talks'
Islamabad: Describing the Mumbai terror attack as "one with a staggering human, financial and psychological cost", a leading Pakistani daily on Sunday said that it continued to haunt the latest round of India-Pakistan talks.
An editorial appeared in the Dawn on Sunday on the two-day foreign secretary level talks that were held here. The talks took place between Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir.
"Cynics may say it is progress at a snail's pace. But the Thimphu spirit survives, and that in itself can be called an achievement," the editorial said.
The press conference after the talks served to emphasise the two countries' resolve to carry the revived post-Mumbai process forward.
"That said, Mumbai was a seminal event, one with a staggering human, financial and psychological cost. And it continued to haunt this latest round of talks, preventing concrete progress, especially on Kashmir.”
"Pakistan has admitted that the attack was plotted on its soil, and has arrested people for it here at home. For talks to move forward constructively, India will need convincing assurances that Pakistan is doing all it can to prevent another attack against it from this side of the border," it noted.
The November 2008 Mumbai terror attack had left 166 people dead.
The editorial observed that "Kashmir did, however, find a mention in the joint statement as well as in the press conference, and even though Rao spoke of the 'shadow of violence' that in her view hindered progress, the two delegations agreed to talk on the Kashmir issue 'in a purposeful and forward looking manner with a view to finding a peaceful solution'."
It went on to say that the foreign ministers of the two countries will now meet in New Delhi next month.
"It is now up to the ministers to show the political will necessary for pushing the peace process forward."