Indian delay over Pakistani posers denting its image: daily

March 10th, 2009 - 2:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, March 10 (IANS) India’s delay in sharing information on the Mumbai terror strikes will resurrect doubts that New Delhi may have stage-managed the killings and also the attack on Sri Lankan cricketers with a view to hurt Pakistan, a leading daily said Tuesday.
“The time India is taking over the 30 questions is denting its credibility at the international level and causing suspicion to creep into the universal sympathy India had won after the Mumbai attacks,” the Daily Times said in an editorial.

“This suspicion will sooner rather than later cause reaction inside Pakistan too, resurrecting the charges made earlier about India stage-managing the attacks to put Pakistan under pressure.

“More lethally, India’s refusal to share information will strengthen the hands of those who believe that (the Lahore) attack on the Sri Lankan cricketers too was orchestrated by India,” the editorial said.

On Feb 12, Islamabad posed 30 questions in response to an Indian dossier pointing to the role of elements from Pakistan in the Nov 26-29 Mumbai attack that killed over 170 people including 26 foreigners.

India’s External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee Monday said the answers to the Pakistani questions would be furnished “shortly”.

Indian officials say that most of the answers are contained in the 11,000-word chargesheet the Mumbai police has filed against Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone terrorist captured in Mumbai.

Noting that Islamabad had come out of denial by admitting that a part of the Mumbai conspiracy was hatched in Pakistan, the editorial asked why India was “reluctant” to follow up on this “positive achievement” and wondered if this was linked to the April-May Indian general elections.

“Why should India hesitate to share information with Pakistan and Interpol? The fact that Pakistan decided to come out of denial was a kind of Indian victory. Why is India reluctant to follow up on this positive achievement?

“It may not want to be seen as being too friendly to Pakistan because the government in power may want to grab the Indian ‘hate vote’ in the April-May general elections,” the editorial maintained.

“But what is the downside to sharing information that is supposed to be damning only to elements in Pakistan? The withholding of information only puts the world community on notice about India’s unwillingness to cooperate.”

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