Minister of state for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor has said that India is disappointed by the release of the Mumbai terror attack mastermind and Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed. The release puts Pakistan government in dock over its commitment to fight terror, say Indian analysts.
The external affairs ministry believes that Saeed’s release caters to a vocal anti-India section of Pakistani opinion.
“We are very disappointed that Pak has not done enough to book the Mumbai terror attacks accused Hafiz Saeed. The release of Hafiz Saeed does not suggest that that there is great deal of commitment by the Pakistan to bring to book the culprits of Mumbai terror attacks,” said Shashi Tharoor.
Besides, ministry also thinks that the release of the chief of banned terrorist organization is in fact a measure to pacify escalating outrage in Pakistan over the Swat offensive.
Though Pakistan has acted swiftly on Taliban issue under tremendous US pressure, patrons of the radical Islamist terrorists, as is widely known now, are in lacks in the country everywhere, in army, in government and general public.
The release of Saeed, the ministry believes, is meant to send a covert message to hardliner Pakistanis is that Islamabad is not selling out its national interests and is following its own priorities.
Pakistani diplomats disagree, though.
“Government of Pakistan is committed to bringing all suspected people to the dock, try and punish them,” said Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UK, Wajid Shamsul Hasan.
Indian Ministry of External Affairs is concerned about the developments.
External Affairs Minister SM Krishna took up the matter with acting US Ambassador Peter Burleigh on Tuesday evening when latter called on the former. Krishna told Burleigh that Saeed’s release was unacceptable to India.
Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon will take up the issue with United States Under Secretary for Political Affairs William J Burns who will visit New Delhi and Mumbai from June 10 to 13. India wishes to let Burns know of factors underscoring Islamabad’s lack of sincerity.
The Indian Embassy in Washington has already begun scheduling meetings in the State Department.
A strong pitch for greater US pressure on Pakistan will be made during Hillary Clinton’s visit in July.
But it leaves unclear whether India has a Pakistan strategy independent of the US and what is to happen if Washington fails to make Islamabad pay heed India’s concerns.