Prime Minister Manmohan Singh , who defended his government’s decision to stay engaged with Pakistan, said he would visit Pakistan only when there was “something solid to achieve”.
The prime minister’s statement is not surprising as he has gambled his political reputation on talks with Pakistan. Any setback on the Pakistan front could make him and his government vulnerable to attacks from the Opposition, particularly the BJP.
Singh, who had packed his Pakistan policy with a strong emotional content, now seemed to be taking a realistic view of the developments in the neighbourhood. “Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed are offshoots of ISI. Pakistan should stop using terror as state policy,” Singh said. The cautious approach is understandable as not many countries are willing to underwrite Pakistan’s claim as an ally in the war against terror following the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad.
Laden’s use of the military city as his final hide-out has only aggravated the familiar suspicion among those dealing with Islamabad – that its state machinery cannot be trusted in the war against terror. In the political establishment here, too, the premium is on a guarded approach towards Pakistan.
Leaders like Union Home Minister P Chidambaram have been maintaining that there was no tangible evidence to suggest that Pakistan was serious about acting on India’s 26/11 demand. Hindu