Indian Decade

Turf War in India

The failed Pakistan talks have provoked a clash between the home and foreign ministries.

There's a battle royale going on between India’s home and foreign ministries after the spectacular failure of Indian diplomacy in Pakistan that has been outlined by my fellow blogger here.

The Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers’ meeting ended in a slanging match at the joint press conference when Pakistan refused to accept India’s steps toward peacemaking.

The trigger for Pakistani misbehaviour was the interview given to a newspaper by Indian Home Secretary GK Pillai on the eve of the foreign ministers’ meeting in Islamabad. Pillai revealed interrogation details of an American-Pakistani terrorist, David Coleman Headley, who had scouted locations in Mumbai for the November 2008 terrorist attack.

Headley told Indian interrogators that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence and the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist leader, Hafiz Mohammed Sayeed, were involved with the 26/11 Mumbai carnage from 'beginning to end'.

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According to the Indian government, the Pakistan army and ISI seized on Pillai’s disclosures to derail the Indo-Pak talks midway. The Pakistani foreign minister compared Pillai with Hafiz Mohammed Sayeed, something which his Indian counterpart, SM Krishna–to the dismay of much of the Indian public–didn't contradict.

Back in India, Krishna publicly criticized Pillai for the disclosures, leading to a spat with the home ministry; the opposition has now also targeted Krishna. Having attacked one of its own, the home ministry under P Chidambaram is apparently hammering Krishna in daily leaks to the press, highlighting again the complete disarray at the upper ecehlons of the Manmohan Singh government.