Monday, February 8, 2010
Tensions grow as Pakistan cancels talks with India; Pakistan’s defiance in part on a “changed atmosphere… based in part on Obama’s policies.”
“Pakistan Shows its True Colours,” screamed angry headlines here this morning after Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi abruptly and defiantly refused to schedule talks with India about the 2008 terrorist attacks on Mumbai and the countries’ longstanding dispute over Kashmir. Those attacks left 173 people dead. The terrorist group, Lashkar e Taiba, has claimed responsibility for the attacks, which shook this nation of over a billion people.
Pakistan’s defiance in part on a “changed atmosphere… based in part on Obama’s policies.”
India responded through Foreign Minister P. Chidambaram that the refusal is a provocation that threatens dialogue between the two traditional rivals. He also referred to Lakshar e Taiba and other terror groups as “representatives of forces of darkness [that are] implacably opposed to India.” He also vowed that “India will defeat them” wherever they are. The media was even more strident, expressing outrage at Pakistan’s unexpected refusal of dialogue “after India bent over backwards” despite the Islamic country’s coddling of terrorists responsible for the loss of Indian life.
Sources here, both inside and outside of the intelligence community attribute Pakistan’s defiance in part on a “changed atmosphere… based in part on Obama’s policies.” The sources have said that the United States is now seen as “not having the stomach” to opposed Islamic terrorists or especially the countries that support them. “This,” more than one said, “is the result of your appeasement.”