Monday, September 28, 2009

Pakistan promises action against 26/11 suspects

There has been no major breakthrough during the meeting between Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in new York on Sunday.

But Qureshi set a deadline for action against those behind the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

Indian government sources have confirmed a commitment from Qureshi that Islamabad will be filing FIRs and chargesheets against 20 proclaimed offenders.

Moreover, Pakistan will also act against 101 other suspects by registering FIRS and filing chargesheets.

He even gave an October deadline for action against them.

No benchmark set for Pak on 26/11 trials: Krishna
"We have a legal process. They are welcome to monitor that legal process. As I said the trial is to begin on October 3," Qureshi.

The statements came after Krishna had reportedly read out the riot act to Qureshi, underscoring his government's mandate to prevent further terror attacks and the need for Islamabad to go beyond declarations and announcements.

"We remain concerned about the threats which groups and individuals in Pakistan continue to pose to us," Krishna.

Government sources later indicated India would consider the Pakistani demand for a return to the Composite Dialogue but this could only be done in an atmosphere free of terror.

As for the Pakistani demand for resuming back channel talks, SM Krishna said there was no need and front channels were open.

'When front channels are open then what's the need for back channels?" said Krishna.

Pakistan is desperate to move beyond 26/11 and a broader dialogue that has been blocked by an unrelenting India. Sunday's talks did hold out the promise of a breakthrough but only if Islamabad walked the talk on terror.