Pakistan's official response to the Indian dossier, delivered to India's high commissioner in Islamabad on February 12, acknowledges that part of the Mumbai terrorist attack was planned in Pakistan. The verification by Islamabad of the material supplied by India took them by surprise as they were not expecting such a candid admission by the Pakistani advisor on Internal Affairs, Mr Rehman Malik. It should not, however have come as a surprise, since The Economist of February 5, 2009, in its Op-Ed Getting serious in Pakistan had predicted: "Unusually, Pakistan may be about to give the world a pleasant surprise. Speaking to The Economist, a senior Pakistani official reinforced a recent impression that Pakistan has at last launched a serious investigation into last November's devastating terrorist attacks in Mumbai, which India and Western governments have blamed on a banned Pakistani Islamist militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET). The official said that Pakistani investigators had found new evidence to substantiate claims made in a dossier provided to them by India last month. India - as well as America and Britain - claims that the commando-style attacks on two hotels, a railway station and a Jewish centre in southern Mumbai, which lasted for three days and claimed over 170 lives, was plotted in Pakistan and launched from there."Indian reaction has been rather niggardly. Its Minister for External Affairs, Shri Parnab Mukherjee in his address to the Indian Lok Sabha responding to the Pakistani dossier, went into a Shakespearean diatribe blaming Pakistan of: "Prevarication, denial, diversionary tactics and a misplaced sense of victimhood." Come on Mr Mukherjee, Pakistan has suffered over 6,000 casualties through terror attacks, over 1600 of them have been members of the army. Pakistan has lost its popular political leader, former PM Benazir Bhutto, an MPA and numerous other political leaders and yet we are being accused of a "misplaced sense of victimhood." Asian Age, in its editorial of February 15, 2009, India needs whole truth from Pakistan, echos similar sentiments: "The Pakistan view on the Mumbai attack, which for India is a game-changer, is that the attack was only 'partly' planned in Pakistan. This appears to be a slick way to get out of assuming full responsibility. While FIRs have been filed in Islamabad with a special court, the case can be stretched out on the plea that no final view can be sustainable until all strings of the conspiracy, gathered from different countries, can be woven together to show up the pattern in its entirety. Whatever Islamabad's little tricks and larger stratagem, Pakistan's response does constitute a little step forward. It has been suggested that this is the consequence of unbearable pressure brought on by the international community, including the threat of a financial squeeze, and India. That is indeed the likely explanation for Islamabad's volte-face from its earlier disavowals in the Mumbai matter. It would have been impolitic for New Delhi not to accept Pakistan's first hesitant step at face value. Hence, it has been officially described here as a 'positive development'." A former Indian External Affairs Secretary Prathasarthy has advised India to continue its pressure on Pakistan, so that more "admissions" can be exacted. According to The New York Times, a State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of diplomatic sensitivities, called the Pakistani announcement a "political decision" to ease tensions with India. A Defence Department official, who did not want to be named for similar reasons, said the Pakistani decision may have been an effort by the civilian government to "poke a stick" at the Pakistani military and intelligence service, which helped set-up Lashkar in the 1980s as a proxy force to challenge India's control of Kashmir, the disputed border region. The ball is now back in the Indian court and India should consider providing a thoroughly investigated response to the Pakistani 30 questions. Of special significance are the following: ? Information about Indian government and military officials involved in Malay village [Malegaon] and Samjhota Express blasts in which Indian Muslims were targeted. ? Details on the deaths of Indian Anti-Terrorist Squad chief Hemant Karkare and two of his colleagues and their driver, who survived the attacks. Karkare uncovered the Indian military intelligence officers involved in killing the Pakistanis in Samjhota Express. ? Details on Samjhota Express attack mastermind, Indian military intelligence Colonel Prohit, who was arrested on November 5 by Karkare. ? Information on a diamond trader from Indian Gujarat suspected of involvement in the Malay village blasts. ? Let us wait for the official Indian response to the Pakistani dossier. The writer is a political and defence analyst