Islamabad: The Pakistani media Friday blamed the Indian government for refusing to revive the composite dialogue cut by the Mumbai terrorist attack and for failing to break the bilateral logjam.
Both Urdu and English language newspapers, from Islamabad and other cities, held New Delhi responsible for the seeming lack of progress after Thursday’s talks between the foreign secretaries in the Indian capital.
The meeting between Nirupama Rao and Salman Bashir was the first structured dialogue since the Mumabi attack of 2008 blamed on terrorists from Pakistan seriously soured ties between the two countries.
The News headlined: “Delhi’s double talk derails dialogue.”
It went on: “No substantial progress was made during the secretary-level talks … as India engaged in a game of doubletalk, saying one thing while meaning the other.”
The Dawn, a highly regarded newspaper, said in a three-column lead story: “Vague promise to stay in touch.”
“India and Pakistan emerged from their first official talks since the Mumbai attacks with a vague promise to keep in contact but no progress on their core disputes,” it said, capturing the widely shared essence of Thursday’s engagement.
In a separate two-column box, captioned “Good chemistry, poor trust mark dialogue”, Dawn said: “Good chemistry and a nagging trust deficit defined the globally watched crucial meeting of the foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan but they promised to stay in touch to explore ways to revive a stymied peace agenda.”
The Nation’s headline read: “Meaningless talks end in meaningless way.”
“Pakistan, India fail to break logjam on peace process,” the Daily Times captioned its lead story with a sub-head: “Secretary-level talks conclude with differences over all key issues.”
“Hopes for early normalisation of bilateral ties between Pakistan and India were dashed as the countries’ top diplomats failed to agree on a timetable to revive the stalled peace process,” it said.
The Urdu media also highlighted what it said was the failure Thursday.
“Bharat ka Pakistan se jaamia muzakrat karne se inkar” (India refuses Pakistan’s offer of composite dialogue), was the headline in Jang.
The Nawa-i-Waqt said: “There was no major breakthrough in the talks… the ‘meaningless dialogue ended meaninglessly'”.
It said India’s decision not to revive the composite dialogue was a “badi galti” (big mistake).