Pakistan cracks down on Lashkar-e-Taiba
India insists the suspects be tried in India, rejecting a Pakistani trial.
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"This is what Pakistan's done for a long time," said Suba Chandran, assistant director of New Delhi's Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies. "The arrests are always challenged in the court of law of Pakistan and they're released in a week or 10 days. And most of the schools are asked to close, then reopen in a day or two."
The Times also noted the Indian press's dubiousness, writing that during the broadcast of Malik's comments on CNN-IBN, the Indian news channel ran a caption declaring "Pakistan Double Talk Again."
Nor was the Indian media any softer on its own government's initial response. Mr. Mukherjee ignited a firestorm of criticism when he indicated India's acceptance of trying the Mumbai suspects in Pakistan. IBN Live declared that New Delhi "gave in." The Statesman described New Delhi's decision as "capitulation."
The Economic Times was slightly kinder, saying that the New Delhi was "settling" for a Pakistani trial, but still criticized the decision as "yet another instance of 'one step forward, two steps backward' approach" of the government. The Economic Times continued, citing experts who criticized the government for putting British and American policy interests above India's own.
Analysts criticized the government for failing to take even the most elementary of steps to send a strong message to Pakistan. Brahma Chellaney, professor of strategic studies with the Centre for Policy Research, accused the government of outsourcing its Pakistan policy. "It's obvious we have outsourced our Pakistan policy. the only thing we are doing is engaging in a war of words," he said.
He further pointed out that the government is yet to take the smallest of diplomatic steps like cutting cultural or sporting ties. "With one eye on the elections, the government appears tough without actually being tough," he added. "Seven weeks have passed since Mumbai and we have nothing to show for it."
Another analyst Bharat Karnad pointed out that with the passage of time, India's options are dwindling. "Once you leave it to a third country, you have lost the initiative," he said. He pointed out that the US and UK would follow their own national interest. "They are not going to let the Pakistan state go down. No matter what," he said.