Pakistan must ‘undo’ reputation of inaction, say editorials

December 6th, 2008 - 4:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Dec 6 (IANS) Pakistan must “undo” its past reputation of inaction against terrorists, said an editorial in a leading Pakistani daily, while another said that in case “non state actors” were involved in the Mumbai terror strikes, then it is the duty of Islamabad to protect “its position” on the global stage.The News carried two editorials Saturday on the Mumbai terror attacks and the resultant diplomatic row between India and Pakistan.

One headlined “Rice & responsibility”, said: “Its past reputation of inaction against terrorists does not stand Pakistan in good stead. One of its priorities must be to undo this reputation.”

Referring to the visit Thursday of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during which she told Pakistan the US expected “robust” response from Pakistan to the Mumbai blasts, it said: “Pakistan must remove elements thought to be involved in terror from its soil.”

“A more positive attitude is required. This is also the ideal time to insist on full US support to oust terror,” the editorial added.

It noted that “in typically tough language”, Rice had “made clear what Washington expects Pakistan to do in the stormy aftermath of the Mumbai attacks” and had spoken of Pakistan’s “special responsibility - a phrase that removed from its thin diplomatic veneer, suggests Washington shares New Delhi’s view that the terrorists have links to Pakistan”.

Even though Rice had played down the possibility of an attack from India and praised the “focused” approach of the Pakistani government to the issue, “once the half-hearted attempt at sugar-coating is taken away, it is obvious Rice was in Islamabad to deliver a stern warning”.

“The impression seems to be that Pakistan is dragging its feet,” the editorial said.

The second editorial, headlined “Actors and stages”, was initially conciliatory, then went into the attack mode.

“Non-state actors may not be accountable to the state or its agents or acting as a proxy of the state, but if their actions are to the detriment of the state then it is the duty of the state both to protect itself and its citizenry and to protect its position internationally, on the global stage,” said the editorial.

However, it said, there was “yet little by way of concrete evidence that those involved in the Mumbai attack originated in, and were trained and resourced by, Pakistan; and there is nothing at all to suggest that they were in any sense acting at the behest or with the blessing of the state.

“Notwithstanding this, there is sufficient circumstantial evidence to raise ‘reasonable doubt’ - our detractors will be watching us closely to see how we address those doubts,” the editorial maintained.

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