CRamS wrote:But I find this line of reasoning a bit unsatisfying. . .
So, the only thing that India will get out of talking to Headley is some banal stuff, which India alreday knows about and even TSP won't have an issue admitting about "non state actors".
CRS, I do agree with your last paragraph but, I find several fallacies in the line of argument that you have put forth otherwise.
First, the fundamental point about access to Headley. It is our sovereign right to have access to him as it is now very clear, by American admission itself and by the bits & pieces of information that they have given to us, that Headley was a very important participant of 26/11.
Secondly, the US is bound by the extradition treaty that India and the US signed nearly 13 years back. According to the Treaty, any offence where the punishment is likely to be 1 year or more can result in extradition. If we do not exercise our right under the treaty, it not only sends a wrong message about the determination and will of GoI to pursue terrorism issues but also of our ability to stand up for our part of the rights in a treaty with the US.
Thirdly, as I have already said before, the GoI knows the exact details about the involvement of specific PA officers (and possibly PN officers). So, there may not be any surprises there. However, our judicial officers have to record those details from the mouth of the criminal for legal requirements later on. Who can foresee what will be required in future ? In that process, let us also corroborate what the US has already informed us as information coming from Headley. In statecraft, the principle of 'Trust but Verify' applies not only to your enemies but also your friends.
Fourthly, Indian investigators may be able to ferret out (provided unfettered access is given) more than what the US investigators could do because of their more detailed knowledge about Pakistan. This could help us understand the Pakistani terror infrastructure better or thwart future attacks.
Tell me, short of another Mumbai-like attack, is anything going to stop MMS in his Paki sojourn?
That is OT here, so won't discuss much except to state that when Chattisinghpora occurred in c. 2000 we felt it was a turning point; later the same year, when Red Fort attack happened, it shocked us all no ends by the sheer audacity and we expected reaction; when the October 2001 J&K assembly attack happened, we felt the same again though we were getting immune to such attacks by then; a few months later, when the Indian Parliament itsel was attacked, we felt it was an inflexion point and nothing worse can happen. But, worse things have happened like the 2003 Mumbai commuter train attacks, serial attacks in Bangalore, Delhi, Ahmedabad etc culminating in 26/11. So, you are right but I won't blame only Mr. Manmohan Singh for the misplaced sense of magnanimity, generosity and forgivenness.