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Mumbai Train Blasts Will Setback India-Pakistan Ties - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Srinagar, Asharq Al-Awsat- Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh warned Friday, that the peace process with Pakistan would be at risk if Pakistan does not fulfill its pledge to contain terrorism on its territory.

On July 11, 179 people were killed and over 600 injured as a result of serial blasts on Mumbai’s train network.

Indian intelligence agencies are already indicating Pakistani involvement in the attacks, claiming that the bombings were planned outside India and that evidence so far has exhibited major links to Pakistan.

The Indian-Pakistan secretary level talks scheduled for July 21-22 in New Delhi have been postponed indefinitely, an Indian foreign office communiqué announced Friday.

The meeting was likely to discuss several confidence building measures between the two countries besides the opening up of trade links in two regions of

Kashmir.

“Pakistan has given us assurance that it would not be used for any activity against India. That assurance has to be fulfilled before the peace process can move forward,” Singh said. He added, “Relations with Pakistan may be affected. In the face of such events, it becomes very difficult to maintain normal relations with the country.”

The Indian Prime Minister’s statement came after Pakistani President

Pervez Musharraf offered assistance in investigating the Mumbai blasts.

Musharraf told one of the news channels, “Pakistan is willing to assist investigations to determine the perpetrators of the terror attacks in Mumbai. Whoever has committed this act cannot be pardoned.”

Musharraf also offered his support for an investigation into October’s serial bombings in New Delhi last year.

Sources in the Indian foreign office say that India and Pakistan ties had reached its lowest ebb in the past two months since the peace process was initiated three years ago. The relations were weak due to enhanced violence and an increase in infiltration from the Kashmir borders.

Meanwhile, investigations have named three suspects of the bombings. The Mumbai Anti-Terror Squad has issued sketches of three young, lightly bearded men identified as Sayyad Zabiuddin, Zulfiqar Fayyaz and Rahil, without providing any details regarding their nationalities.

Indian security agencies probing the blasts have indicated that the Pakistan based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba was involved.

Indian security agencies reported that a phone call was made to a Kashmir based news agency, Thursday stating that Al Qaeda has set up its base in Kashmir.

The caller identifying himself as spokesperson of Kashmir Al Qaeda hailed the Mumbai blasts and asked all Indian Muslims to join jihad against “unholy Indian rulers”.

Security agencies are authenticating claims regarding Al Qaeda presence in Kashmir.

Meanwhile, security authorities in neighboring Nepal have arrested two Pakistanis in a hotel in Katmandu following a tip off from Indian police, which claimed that the two suspects made phone calls to Mumbai soon after the blasts. Both suspects have been involved in subversive activities.

In recent years, Nepal has become a breeding ground for terrorist activity against India.

Following the Mumbai blasts, police have monitored calls to Bangladesh, Pakistan and Dubai. It was reported that a call was made from Karachi to Dhaka expressing congratulations on the success of the attack.

Around the same time, a call was made from a public telephone in Mumbai to an anxious “mother” in Karachi. The caller assured his mother that he was in good health but could not disclose his location and could not talk at length.

India has stated that investigations are not developing as quickly as anticipated and that the probe has faced difficulty because the chaos that followed the bombs at the train stations may have destroyed valuable forensic evidence and mobile handsets belonging to terrorists.

Three days after the bombings, Mumbai has begun to recover as people

have returned to their everyday lives and have begun boarding the trains once again. The majority of the victims from the bombings have been identified, as the wounded are still undergoing treatment in several Mumbai hospitals.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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