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Pak media asks govt to review efforts to engage India

September 29, 2009 17:44 IST

The Pakistani media has asked its government to conduct a reappraisal of its efforts to engage India and to independently ascertain whether certain people allegedly involved in militancy enjoy protection and if so, why?

Asking for reasons for the current hold-up in the bilateral dialogue with India, the Pakistani media has called upon its government to show greater flexibility.

Saying India and Pakistan must find means to move forward The News daily, commenting on the recent meeting of foreign ministers of the two countries, counselled its government that the Mumbai terror attacks cannot be forgotten. Nor should the attempts to find out those responsible be abandoned, as this would raise the possibility of more terrorism of a similar nature.

But other mainstream Pakistani media said if India refused to hold a dialogue, Islamabad should take up its substantive issues with India, like the Kashmir issue, sharing of water and the situation in Afghanistan globally.

The influential Dawn newspaper, in an editorial titled 'Stalemate', acknowledged that there was "not much more that (Pakistan) can or should do" to ensure the resumption of the composite dialogue, which was suspended by India in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks.

It said Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi's suggestion that he would be willing to travel to India if it could help "change attitudes there towards engagement with Pakistan" was a move that is "frankly unadvisable", as Islamabad has "already made all the gestures necessary to indicate its willingness to talk".

The daily advised that the "foremost lesson for Pakistan" is that when the two sides finally re-engage, "and this is inevitable given the outstanding issues between the two countries Pakistan should demand that the big issues, Kashmir, water, Afghanistan, etc, should be addressed upfront".

The Daily Times, in its editorial titled 'Indo-Pak dialogue: some basic questions', called for a comprehensive reappraisal of Pakistan's efforts to engage India in a dialogue.

It should decide whether future talks should get India to move towards an overhaul of bilateral relations or the resumption of the composite dialogue "just for the sake of talking".

"In short, does Pakistan want this exercise to be meaningful or is it simply to concede to more of the same which, in terms of results, was almost nothing?" it said.

The Daily Times also called for a "re-examination of the regional status quo among the stakeholders in Pakistan" before resuming talks with India.

"If disputes are not settled, as they are unlikely to since India for the most part does not even accept them as disputes, what are Pakistan's options? Since the talks will not happen in a vacuum, attention must be paid to global opinion about this issue," it said, adding that "the world is siding with India".

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