Whichever way the winds blow (or are made to blow)
Soon after the terrorist attacks on Mumbai trains in July, the Indian Express wrote that “India needs to look hard at the man who claims to embody Pakistanâ€™s â€œquestâ€ for reasonable solutions.(Musharraf) has failed to keep his word on ending cross-border terrorism. So India must ask itself whether he is any longer a credible interlocutor”. It pointed out that public support for the peace process is fast eroding and “even the government, which has revelled in a â€˜do nothing policyâ€™ towards Pakistan, will find the peace process unsustainable”. It concluded that “there may be nothing more important” than supporting the political parties opposed to Gen Musharraf. [See this post]
And now, it is all praise for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh “having salvaged the peace talks stalled after the Mumbai massacre, and agreeing to travel to Pakistan in the near future”. It calls for Dr Singh to retain control over the agenda and the process of dialogue, and, apart from “maintain(ing) pressure on Pervez Musharraf to keep his word on ending cross-border terrorism” also “turn up the heat on a feckless Indian bureaucracy to embark on purposeful negotiations”. That last recommendation comes right out of the Pakistani songbook.
The only concievable reason it has to justify its re-conversion to ‘let’s take Musharraf’s word for it’ creed is the laughable bilateral “joint institutional mechanism” to investigate terrorism.
It is unfortunate that a major national newspaper has made it a habit of disparaging Indian officials—nuclear scientists in the debate over the India-US nuclear deal, or feckless and obstreperous security officials vis-a-vis Pakistan—in order to present Manmohan Singh in a favourable light. (Manmohan Singh himself went to Kashmir and found it appropriate to lecture the Army on human rights!).