Why PM should not honour Malik's invitation to visit Pak?
New Delhi, Dec 15: Pakistan is eager to host Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as their esteem guest. Time and again, Pakistan has invited PM Singh to pay visit to Pakistan, which is also his ancestral place. But Indian government feels that unless and until Pakistan bring to book the 26/11 perpetrators, PM's visit to the country would be doing a great disservice to the victims of the Mumbai Terror Attacks 2008.
However, Interior minister of Pakistan Rehman Malik, who is currently on a visit to India, has expressed Pakistan's desire to invite PM Singh again. President Asif Ali Zardari had already invited Singh to visit Pakistan, Malik told the media in Islamabad before leaving for Delhi on Friday, Dec 14.
"I would also invite the Indian Prime Minister for a visit on behalf of our leadership," he said. Pakistan, at various levels, has repeatedly extended an invitation to Singh to visit Islamabad and his childhood village, Gah, asserting that it would give a fillip to bilateral relations between the south Asian rivals.
Earlier also, a visit by PM Singh to Islamabad is almost ruled out with "only a small window" left for Pakistan to provide "balm" for India's continuing "sense of hurt" over the 26/11 attacks.
"There is a very small window for the Prime Minister's visit to Pakistan," a highly placed source in the Ministry of External Affairs had said.
The sources pointed out that the people of India have not forgotten the 26/11 attacks, which were planned in Pakistan and executed by Pakistani nationals. "This is not a pre-conditional approach. There are things that have hurt us greatly. The sense of hurt is not over," said the sources.
Before Malik's arrival in Delhi, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said, India had seen "little progress" as far as accountability by Pakistan for the Mumbai attacks is concerned.
Pakistani authorities arrested seven men, including Lashkar-e-Taiba operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, for alleged involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people. However, their trial has been hit by several delays.