Misplaced trust

The rejection by Pakistan’s supreme court of an appeal against the release by a lower court of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed is in line with Islamabad’s persistent refusal to take effective action against the masterminds behind the Mumbai terrorist attack and those involved in anti-India activities. The excuse that the government has no control over judicial decisions is lame and unconvincing. Apparently the government did not present a strong case against Saeed in the court. The prosecutor has gone on record that the authorities did not give him enough material to support the case. The lower court’s decision to release Saeed from house arrest was also because of the poor handling of the case by the government. The failure could only be deliberate, as India had provided enough evidence of the involvement of Saeed and others in anti-India activities. It is no surprise that the trial of seven Lashkar-e-Toiba men in Rawalpindi in connection with the Mumbai attack has also made no substantial progress.

Ironically the Pak supreme court’s decision came a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that the trust deficit between the two countries resulting from Pakistan’s refusal to punish those responsible for the Mumbai outrage and to act against other anti-India elements is hindering substantive negotiations between the two countries.
The Thimpu meeting between the prime ministers of India and Pakistan is soon to be followed by a meeting of the two foreign ministers. But Pakistan has refused to heed India’s message that any progress in talks is predicated on Islamabad’s sincerity in acting against those working to endanger India’s security. It has refused to honour its pledge that its territory would not be used for activities against India. The terrorist infrastructure directed against India is still alive and active. Instead of trying to accommodate India’s urgent concerns Pakistan is still harping on issues like Kashmir, as Gilani did on Tuesday.

India is disappointed with the decision on Hafiz Saeed who will continue with his anti-India activities and tirades against this country. He had been arrested by the Pakistan government  after the JuD was declared a terrorist organisation by the UN Security Council. The hope that Pakistan would still be sensitive to India’s concerns and take meaningful legal action against him seems to be misplaced.

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