ISLAMABAD, Dec 23: The European Union ‘Troika’ is reported to have shelved its plan to mediate between Pakistan and India in the wake of the Mumbai attacks after getting a negative response from India.
The ‘troika’ comprises representatives of the current presidency, the future presidency, the European Commission and the Council of Ministers. It carries a mandate to speak on behalf of the 27 EU member states.
Diplomats told Dawn on Tuesday that members of the ‘Troika’ were scheduled to visit Islamabad and New Delhi on Dec 18 and 19 as part of an international effort to defuse the tension between the two countries.
The decision to mediate was taken by the EU foreign ministers at a meeting in Brussels earlier this month. However, India did not respond positively to the EU initiative, which led to the shelving of the trip.
A spokesman for the embassy of France, which currently holds the EU presidency, confirmed that the visit had been cancelled. No reasons were given for the cancellation and there was no explanation about the purpose of the visit.
Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Sadiq, however, said that no dates had been fixed.
India appears to be uneasy over the balanced EU stand on the issue and is learnt to have rejected the mediation offer on the pretext of not encouraging the involvement of any third party. However, it has not objected to the active role played by the UK and US to end the standoff.
Investigation agencies of the UK and US are also working with Indians investigating the Mumbai attacks.
The EU had been asking Pakistan to fulfil its international obligations by finding and prosecuting the elements responsible for the Mumbai attacks and taking necessary steps to stop recurrence of such incidents. The bloc’s foreign ministers in their statement at the conclusion of their Brussels meeting recognised the sacrifices made by the people of Pakistan in their struggle against terrorism and promised continued EU support.
Meanwhile, diplomatic sources confirmed that ‘neutral’ countries are increasingly putting pressure on India to directly share evidence with Pakistan.
The information shared so far have been made available through the UK and the US. However, Pakistan has been insisting that India must provide evidence through diplomatic channels.