Even as India referred to bringing to book the perpetrators of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks as the touchstone for building confidence between the two countries, Pakistan categorically ruled out involvement of state-actors in the ghastly act, even in the face of confessional statements from terrorist Abu Jundal.
Addressing a press conference after two days of foreign secretary-level talks, Indian foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai said: “Bringing perpetrators of 26/11 to book will be the biggest Confidence Building Measure (CBM). The arrest of Abu Jundal has added urgency to the situation…. We will continue to pursue the matter till its logical conclusion.”
During the two-day bilateral talks focusing on peace and security, Jammu and Kashmir and terrorism, the Indian side handed over the copies of Jundal’s Pakistani passport issued to him under the name of Riyasat Ali, along with his two Pakistani identity cards. Despite the evidence, Pakistan remained in denial. “There has been no involvement of state actors in any acts of terrorism in India. We have to increase our level of cooperation,” Pakistan foreign secretary Jalil Jilani said in response to a query about the role of state actors in the Mumbai terror attacks. Jilani said that India should share the details of investigation following Jundal’s arrest.
On the outcome of the dialogue Mathai said, “We had a frank and constructive discussion. While we do not agree on all issues, we do agree that relationships have to be normalised.”