Pakistani media hails Mumbai admissions

February 13th, 2009 - 6:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaIslamabad, Feb 13 (IANS) A day after the government admitted that the Mumbai attacks were “partly” planned in this country, the Pakistani media Friday hailed the move, with at least one newspaper terming it a “welcome” and “seismic shift” in the approach to the carnage.
The announcement by Interior Minister Rehman Malik that a part of the Mumbai operation that killed 179 people was planned in Pakistan “is a seismic shift in the way the government has approached this unhappy matter and is welcome for several reasons” The News said in an editorial headlined “Honesty and hard realities”.

Daily Times was equally appreciative, saying Malik’s admission “proves, without doubt, that Islamabad has been pursuing the case diligently and in line with its promise to do so” - and that India should now reciprocate by providing the additional information Pakistan has sought.

The editorial was headlined “India should appreciate Pakistan’s efforts.

Noting that Malik had said “we mean business” in prosecuting the Mumbai perpetrators, The News said there could be “little doubt” that this “indeed” would be the case.

“This is the first time that a senior representative of a sitting Pakistani government has ever acknowledged that any terror attack on another nation has been planned in whole or part within the country,” the newspaper added.

At the same time, it said there could be “no doubt” that the admission “could mean serious implications for the security services - as Mr Malik is sure to know more than he is telling us”.

The News also noted that the “frank admission” came at the end of US special envoy Richard Holbrooke’s visit and followed the first telephone contact between Presidents Barack Obama and Asif Zardari.

“However, we do not make any causal linkage between these events,” the editorial said, adding: “It is this kind of openness and up-front honesty that inspires confidence, both in our own government and within the nations around us.

“Now let us see reciprocity on the Indian side,” it maintained.

According to Daily Times, Malik’s admission “proves, without doubt, that Islamabad has been pursuing the case diligently and in line with its promise to do so.

“It also indicates, if such proof were ever required, that the government was sincere in condemning the Mumbai attack and was not complicit in it, a wild allegation made by India as part of its diplomatic offensive to isolate Pakistan and paint it as a sponsor of terrorism,” the editorial maintained.

In this context, it noted that Pakistan had “kept its cool in the face of aggression by the Indian media and the government but obviously enhanced its air and ground vigilance against any possible Indian adventurism”.

As for the next stage of the investigations, Daily Times said there “is also a requirement for India to cooperate with Pakistan, a fact that Islamabad has long stressed. The (Indian) dossier itself is not enough”.

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