Expectations of Indo-Pak talks without Mumbai attack resolution 'unrealistic': Riedel

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Lahore, Apr.19 (ANI): Until the issues regarding the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack are resolved between India and Pakistan, it is almost unrealistic to expect New Delhi to restart peace talks with Islamabad, an expert has said.

Former CIA Middle-East expert and a key advisor to President Barack Obama, Bruce Riedel says the Mumbai attack is the core of the issue between India and Pakistan currently.

"The first step in any process of trying to change the dynamics between Pakistan and India is to resolve the outstanding issues from the Mumbai attack," Riedel told Outlook India.

Riedel said Pakistan must ensure India that it is sincere in the 26/11 investigations.

"India has made a compelling case that the Mumbai attack was launched from Pakistan, that it had a significant support base in Pakistan," Riedel said , adding " Pakistan has said it's willing to cooperate with the investigation and that's what it should continue to do."

When enquired that whether he considered the Mumbai attack as an attack on the US-Israel-India cooperation against terror, because the attackers particularly targeted Jews, Christians and Hindus, Riedel said India's relationship both with the US and Israel was not new.

"I don't see this as a tripartite relationship, but as a series of bilateral relationships," he said.

Riedel said the new US policy for Pakistan did not have any mention of sending troops on Pakistani soil to thwart the terror threat originating from there, because the there was not any UN mandate for such step.

"There's no mandate from the UN for deployment of forces in Pakistan nor any request from the Pakistani government for troops in Pakistan," The Daily Times quoted Riedel, as saying.

Commenting on Pakistan's fears of increasing Indian influence in Afghanistan, he said: "India was a 'major player' in the rebuilding of the war-torn country and its aid projects were one of the largest of any country in the world."

Riedel also expressed his concerns over the Pakistan Parliament's approval to implement Islamic law in Swat Valley saying it was "not a productive way to move forward". (ANI)

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