India on Friday said presenting of evidence by Pakistani authorities on the Mumbai attacks to a court there was “a little movement as far as the accountability” of the 26/11 strikes was concerned, but felt it still “may not be the best time” for a Prime Ministerial visit.
Responding to questions on Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s visit to India for talks and New Delhi’s expectations from it, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said India should go with “an open mind and a reasonable determination to push things in a direction we want them to go”.
But, he added, there should not be “great expectations” given the “constraints and limitations” in the relationship.
“We have seen a little movement as far as the accountability of Mumbai attacks 2008 is concerned. We have reports that evidence given in the court in the trial is indicative of some transparency and acceptance of what happened.
“And now how they will describe it as non-state actors or state actors but there is certainly more information which is coming through official channels,” Mr. Khurshid, who is on his first bilateral visit to Myanmar after assuming office, said.
India has urged Pakistan to “fast track” the trial and there is some indication that it may happen, he said.
“We have a wish list with them...it is in parallel that we continue to look at advancement of dialogue and confidence-building measures.”
His comments came days after Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency presented evidence on 26/11 Mumbai attacks to a Rawalpindi-based anti-terror court.
Photographs of LeT training camps in Sindh and motorboats used by the 10 terrorists who attacked Mumbai were among evidence presented to the court conducting the trial of LeT’s operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and six other Pakistanis charged with involvement in the 2008 strikes.
On Mr. Malik’s India visit, Mr. Khurshid said: “We should not really have very great expectations because there are constraints and limitations within (which) they operate.
“But nevertheless we will push. We have a very clear cut agenda and we will push for each item. We will flag some, not necessarily that in a short visit like this we expect anything dramatic but I certainly think at the end of (Malik’s) visit we will see and feel little more positive than we do for the moment.”
Asked if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will visit Pakistan, which is keen to host him, given a little movement in the 26/11 case, he said time is too short as Pakistan was fast moving towards the elections and “it may not be the best time but it depends on how things shape up.
“Every meeting, every event can lead to fresh analysis and fresh assessment but it will be the Prime Minister’s call.”
Asked if India was inviting any Pakistani leader for the upcoming Indo-Pak cricket series, Mr. Khurshid said “nobody has suggested that we invite someone....
“On the other hand....they on their own side may want to partake of an opportunity of coming to India. And if there is a proposal, we will consider it appropriately.”
During his three-day visit to Myanmar, Mr. Khurshid will hold talks with the top leadership of the country, including Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
His visit is also a precursor to the discussions which will take place during Myanmar President Thein Sein’s India trip for ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit from December 20.
During his stay, Mr. Khurshid would meet his Myanmar counterpart and is scheduled to call on the President and other leaders.