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Singh may not visit Pakistan

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. — File photo

NEW DELHI: India’s foreign ministry has indicated that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh may not visit Pakistan any time soon given Islamabad’s preoccupation with elections and its alleged tardy approach to prosecuting the suspects in Mumbai terrorist attacks, several newspapers reported on Saturday.

They said the Indian foreign ministry saw a “very short window” for a prime ministerial trip ahead of elections in Pakistan. The briefing came a day after Pakistan’s High Commissioner Salman Bashir expressed his hope for an early visit by Prime Minister Singh.

“Underlining the centrality of the 26/11 attacks in the step-by-step process of re-engagement with Pakistan, sources in the ministry said that India still felt a sense of ‘hurt’ that was exacerbated by the lackadaisical manner in which Islamabad has gone about the task of bringing the perpetrators to justice,” according to the Times of India.

The sources clarified, though, that pre-conditions for the visit would not be “appropriate” even though there were some expectations from Pakistan that remained “unfulfilled”.

“We are not bitter but we haven’t forgotten either and a little balm from Pakistan can give us the strength and courage to move forward,” the paper quoted a source as saying.