New Delhi: Arrested Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operative and 26/11 handler Abu Jundal was in focus during the India-Pakistan talks that concluded on Thursday. The neighbouring nation asked for evidence that Jundal was a Pakistan-backed terrorist.
It also denied that state actors were involved in the Mumbai attacks. Clearly, India's pressure on 26/11 has not worked.
India, however, sent a strong message to Pakistan during the foreign secretary level talks. It asked Pakistan to bring those behind the 26/11 attacks to justice, pointing that terrorism is the biggest impediment to peace and normalisation of ties.
"Bringing the guilty to justice in the Mumbai terror attacks will be the biggest CBM of all," said Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai.
The talks were held a week after the arrest of Abu Jundal. Suspected of being involved in 26/11, on orders from the Pakistani establishment, India shared information on Jundal. However, the pressure appeared not to work. Pakistan asked for evidence on Jundal, it denied state involvement, and attempted to obfuscate by offering a joint probe.
"We reject any insinuation against any state agencies of Pakistan in any terror attack in India," said Pakistan Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani.
India also got no assurances on the release of Sarabjit Singh. And Jilani's visit ended with a rebuke from External Affairs Minister S M Krishna for his Tuesday's meeting with Kashmiri separatists.
Though the diplomats met, the huge gulf on terrorism remains. The dialogue will limp along, but Krishna will have low expectations from a new round when he meets Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar in September.