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Delhi turns to ‘friend’ Mori

New Delhi, Oct. 22: Miffed with world leaders for not being able to force Pervez Musharraf to stop cross-border terrorism, India today expressed its disappointment through friend and former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori.

The reaction is a clear signal that despite taking the unilateral decision of withdrawing troops from the international border with Pakistan, Delhi is not willing to do much else unless Islamabad takes steps towards ending its hostile policy.

Mori is here as special envoy of the Japanese Prime Minister to represent Tokyo at the week-long celebrations of the 50th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic ties with India. A letter he was carrying from his Prime Minister could not be delivered directly to Atal Bihari Vajpayee as the Indian Prime Minister has cancelled all official engagements due to illness. It was handed over to L.K. Advani.

Mori’s main interaction was with foreign minister Yashwant Sinha. The meeting gave the two sides the opportunity to review the entire gamut of bilateral ties and exchange views on regional and international issues.

Mori lauded India’s unilateral decision to “re-deploy” troops from the international border and the successful Jammu and Kashmir polls. Though he did not say it in as many words, he did want to find out what other steps India had in mind to de-escalate further and whether it was thinking of resuming talks with Pakistan. “The foreign minister expressed India’s disappointment at the international community for its failure to force the Pakistani President to live up to his commitment to stop cross-border terrorism completely,” said spokesperson Navtej Sarna.

Though it has not been spelt out, India’s main disappointment is directed at the US. Delhi feels it has enough leverage with Pakistan but has not used it to pressure Musharraf into giving up cross-border terrorism. The foreign ministry feels that though India’s diplomatic initiative has brought about a general acknowledgement that Pakistan was the epicentre of terrorism in South Asia, it has not got Delhi “unmitigated success”.

Therefore, through Mori, Delhi told world leaders that if they expect it to resume talks with Pakistan, they have to force Musharraf into taking urgent and visible steps.

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