Sun, Jul 16, 2006 - Page 5 News List

India suspends foreign office talks with Pakistan


Foreign office consultations between India and Pakistan have been deferred after New Delhi said it was convinced of Pakistan's involvement in the deadly Mumbai bombings, Indian media reported yesterday.

While the peace process with Pakistan would continue, talks between Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran and his Pakistani counterpart Riaz Muhammad Khan slated for next Friday would be deferred as a "mark of protest," major news outlets reported citing official sources.

However, there was no official announcement regarding the postponement of the talks, which were to have taken place in the Indian capital to review the progress of the two-year-old peace process.

On Friday, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pointed the finger at Pakistan saying the terrorists behind the carnage in Mumbai were supported by elements across the border.

Singh said Pakistan needed to curb terrorism if the peace process between the two countries was to make progress.

India has in the past accused Pakistan of aiding and abetting terrorists and has demanded that it dismantle the terror infrastructure completely.

Pakistan, which has denied any involvement in the attacks, rejected Singh's statement that the bombers had Pakistani support.

Islamabad offered assistance in the investigations and said the continuation of the peace process was in the interest of both nations as well as the entire region.

Meanwhile, investigations into the Mumbai blasts were gaining momentum. At least 11 were detained in raids from the city's Mahim area early yesterday were being questioned, the NDTV network reported.

Police officials also told the PTI news agency that more than 200 suspected activists of the Students' Islamic Movement of India which is suspected to have carried out the attacks along with the terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Toiba (Army of the Pure), have been detained for questioning in the past few days.

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