And you thought that the India-Pakistan Joint Anti-terrorism Mechanism will help prevent terrorism in India?
Pakistan, according to a news headline, is disappointed after terror talks with India. That’s because Indian officials reported little new on last month’s terrorist attack on the Attari express that more than 60 Pakistani passengers. The very fact that an India-Pakistan ‘joint institutional mechanism’ on terrorism can generate such a headline in the international media points to how big a self-goal (or hit-wicket, in keeping with the language of the season) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh scored at Havana last year. He pulled Pakistan further out of the international doghouse by claiming that it too, like India, was a victim of terror. Pakistan is now returning favour by attempting to push India into the doghouse.
First, they accused Indian intelligence agencies of being â€œinvolved in sponsoring, training, funding and financing terrorist networks in Pakistan, especially in Balochistan, to carry out subversive activities through Afghanistanâ€. Next, they denied that a Pakistani could have carried out the bombings on Mumbaiâ€™s local trains because it was carried out by remote control. Finally, on being presented with the sketch of a Pakistani suspected of involvement in Attari express carnage, they questioned â€œwhy a Pakistani would kill his countrymenâ€.
Small wonder then that the Pakistani foreign ministry official should be pleased with the results of the joint institutional mechanism. If this is what transpired, then it really did go well for the Pakistani side.
The entire farce confirms the suspicion that the joint mechanism is really about playing to the galleries, conveying a sense of progress where there is none. As Offstumped points out, it serves to keep Gen Musharraf in power. It is another forum for India to take its charges to, the effectiveness of which is highly questionable. But itâ€™s a wonderful one for Pakistan to issue its denials from.