After Indian official sources pointed to the slow pace of prosecuting 26/11 masterminds

On a day the Supreme Court confirmed the death sentence on Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman in the Mumbai attacks, Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan, here to attend the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit, expressed their views on the issue of prosecuting the masterminds of the 2008 massacre.

External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, when asked for his reaction, said: “I am sure Pakistan will not fail to take note of this” and added that he was sure the judiciary in Pakistan was similarly active. Mr. Krishna’s observations follow Indian official sources saying on Tuesday that the slow pace of prosecuting the Pakistani masterminds of the Mumbai attacks showed there was a “serious difference in how the Indian state reacts and how the Pakistani state fails to react.”

Hina Khar optimistic

Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar prefaced her comments by expressing optimism about possible talks on Thursday between Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the NAM Summit here.

“We are moving out of the trust deficit zone, and that is a pre-requisite for us to be able to really sit on the negotiating table and solve most important issues,” she told newspersons.

On Pakistan acting against the masterminds of the Mumbai attacks, Ms. Khar said: “Recently, the Pakistani High Commissioner in India had clearly articulated what the requirements are to move forward in that.

“Both India and Pakistan need to tackle their disputes and other issues in a more mature manner, so that they don’t continue to haunt the two countries and their governments,” she added.

“We’ve to move beyond”

But perhaps basing her comments entirely on reports by a section of the Indian media which put the entire blame for SMS and web images at Pakistan’s door for creating panic among people of the northeast working elsewhere in India, she said: “I think simply that we need to really find a more mature way to be able to handle all of these issues because they will continue to haunt us.”

“So, I am, in my position, very disappointed every time something reaches Pakistan through the media, because we believe that we have been able to invest in this relationship enough to expect a call from any counterpart if any such concern, suspicion arises. Because we have to move beyond this. You know, really, giving more fuel to a hostility type of narrative in each other’s media, I think, your media, really needs to become more positive,” she added.

But the official Indian reaction has been otherwise. Official sources have said the issue would not be raised in Thursday’s meeting as it was not a state-to-state issue. The answer lay in keeping a tab on web trends as the images had started circulating a week before panic set in leading to people from the northeast working and studying in some parts of the country, rushing back to their home States.

More In: National | News