Preparing the ground for the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani in Egypt, Islamabad has handed over a fresh dossier on its probe into the Mumbai terror attacks to New Delhi which is figuring out what it amounts to.
After Singh's disclosure that Inter Services Intelligence chief has met some officials of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, speculation has been rife about the powerful spy agency's influence in the process of talks. The Indian side is unwilling to hazard a guess on whether ISI will be part of the talks, saying it amounts to jumping several steps. The dossier, handed over to the Indian High Commission officials in Islamabad on Saturday night, identifies 12 new suspects and gives an update on the investigations into the November 26 attacks.
Singh is scheduled to meet Gilani at 10.30 am (Egyptian time) on Thursday at Hotel Maritim Jolie Ville Golf Resort at Sharm el-Shiekh hoping to get a categoric commitment that the Mumbai terror accused would be quickly brought to justice and Pakistan's soil will not be used for terror acts against India. The Singh-Gilani meeting will be preceded by talks between Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon and his Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir, who will have the first meeting on Tuesday night and later report to their respective leaders. Though the Indian side is entering the talks on a note of caution, it is not pre-judging Pakistan's intention. It has taken note of President Asif Ali Zardari's willingness to discuss the issue of terrorism during his talks with Singh inRussia last month. New Delhi has also acknowledged that Pakistan has taken "some steps" in this direction. "But what they amount to, we have to see."
While India has made it clear that Pakistan should take steps to dismantle terror infrastructure and stop terror acts directed against it, New Delhi feels laying down deadlines, markers for this purpose is not pragmatic. The Indian side feels it is premature at this stage to speculate on resumption of the peace process, stalled sincethe Mumbai attacks. The Indian side is of the view that at this stage it can neither say yes or no to starting the Composite Dialoguewith Pakistan. India is disappointed that eight months have passed since the Mumbai strikes and movement from the Pakistani side in prosecuting the accused is slow and frustrating.