Thu, Feb 22, 2007 - Page 3 News List

India, Pakistan sign deal to reduce nuclear war risk


The foreign ministers of India and Pakistan vowed yesterday to work together to fight terrorism, days after a pair of bombs went off on a Pakistan-bound train, setting off a fire that killed 68 people.

The two men, who met for long-scheduled peace talks and to witness the signing of an agreement to reduce the threat of accidentally triggering a nuclear war, said the peace process would move forward.

"There are no words strong enough to condemn this act of heinous crime," Pakistan Foreign Minister Khursheed Kasuri told reporters. "It has underlined the need for cooperation."

Whoever set off the bombs "will be brought to justice," Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee said.

Mukherjee, however, ruled out the possibility of a joint India-Pakistan investigation.

"As per the law of land, the investigation has to be carried on by India," Mukherjee said.

Officials from the two nations signed an agreement to cut the risk of nuclear weapons accidents between the neighbors and rivals.

The ceremony took place after the talks between Mukherjee and Kasuri wrapped up.

Meanwhile, investigators searched yesterday for two men who were allowed to jump off the shortly before it erupted into flames, police said.

Police released sketches of the two suspects on Tuesday.

The suspects, whose identities were not known, boarded the train when it left New Delhi on Sunday but quickly began arguing with the conductor, insisting they were on the wrong train. They were allowed to jump from the train as it slowed down about 15 minutes before two crude bombs detonated, setting off the fires, Sharad Kumar, a senior police official, said on Tuesday.

The fire destroyed two coaches on the Samjhauta Express, one of the most visible symbols of the India-Pakistan peace process, about an hour after the train left New Delhi. Most of the victims were Pakistani.

So far, only 17 of the 68 bodies have been identified -- 13 Pakistanis and four Indians.

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