IN the midst of the highly charged post-Mumbai atmosphere created by New Delhi's belligerent posture towards Islamabad, the question whether credible evidence has been made available to Pakistan to enable it to conduct investigation into the charges of involvement of elements from its side remains unsettled. Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee has once again maintained that proof has been rendered and threatened Pakistan, in the vein of an arrogant, dominant power, with not ruling out the option of 'unilateral attack' if it did not comply. But if Mr Mukherjee had thought that his statement "enough evidence has been given to Pakistan. Pakistan must cooperate and not contradict us. Mere talk is not enough. Pakistan has to act," could make Islamabad rush into hauling up anyone in sight, he was mistaken. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has retorted, saying that the government and the armed forces were fully alive to the situation and if war was imposed on the country, it has the capability and the right to defend itself. Though on the defensive on account of the intense global pressure it has been under since the November 26 tragedy, the Pakistani leadership is absolutely justified in demanding that it was waiting for the leads from India to get to the bottom of the matter. Out of these conflicting stands, which have generated public confusion, one thing comes out quite clearly: New Delhi wants the custody of certain persons it has listed as culprits, without furnishing any evidence of their involvement. It simply wants them to be handed over to it and no questions asked. Pakistan has to stand firm, not be overawed by the sabre-rattling, gear up its diplomatic efforts to make it clear in unmistakable terms that India would get a befitting reply to any attempt at foolhardiness. New Delhi should listen to the voice of reason and caution rather than raise tension to a new height. Commenting on the situation, Stephen Cohen, an expert on the region, has counselled both Pakistan and India to show patience and not fulfill the wishes of the militants who want to create bad blood between them and hurt the Zardari government. Mr Mukherjee and Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who has also adopted an aggressive tone, had better reflect on Mr Cohen's observation that "no country is blameless". He made this remark while referring to the situation in Sri Lanka, which he had recently visited, that Indian Tamils were fighting along Tamil Tigers, and that should provide an apt answer to the responsibility of controlling 'non-state actors'. Earlier, Indian writer-thinker Arundhati Roy, widely respected in the world for her forthright views, had made a strong plea not to forget the point that there were certain minority groups within India, which held a grudge against the government for the excesses they had to bear.