Rice’s Krispies

Rice’s Krispies

Urging restraint on a country hit by terrorists is fine. That is, if its neighbour, home to the terrorists, displays similar restraint.

Pakistan is not doing that and the visiting US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, should know that.

Indian requests for handing over of fugitives from justice have been rebuffed and, instead, an inane proposal of a “joint investigative mechanism" has been put forward by Pakistan. The atmosphere was vitiated further when Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari said on Larry King Live that he doubted if the terrorist captured in Mumbai was from his country.

Under such circumstances, expressions of sympathy and restraint would be no better than offering the eponymous breakfast cereal to a people in mourning. Sadly, that’s all that the departing US administration can offer India. It has little leverage in Pakistan and the intransigence of that country’s leaders proves that.

India should in no way make commitments to the visiting dignitary that cramp its future course of action in any manner. Conveying a blunt message that “all options are open" has a better chance of getting the goods than giving in to restraint that we may regret later.

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