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India to push Pakistan over Delhi bomb blasts

Pakistan, Pakistan everywhere.... root of terrorism around the world !! Is that a true statement..!!

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Anger is mounting in India over bomb attacks in the capital a week ago that have been blamed on militants based in Pakistan, further hampering New Delhi's slow-moving peace talks with Islamabad.


Sixty percent of Indians polled in a mobile phone text survey last week said New Delhi should call off the talks.

While India is not expected to take such a drastic step, the outrage sparked by the blasts will force Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to do some plain speaking during talks with his Pakistani counterpart Shaukat Aziz this week, officials and analysts said.

Singh and Aziz are due to meet on the sidelines of a Nov. 12-13 South Asian summit in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka.

At least 59 people were killed and over 200 wounded in the simultaneous bomb blasts in crowded Delhi bazaars on Oct. 30. Singh has said there were indications the bombers were linked to Pakistan and reminded Islamabad of its promise to curb anti-India militants based there.

"After the Delhi blasts, I think it would be fair for us to expect that they should now deliver on their promise," said C. Uday Bhaskar of New Delhi-based Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses.

"We've had enough rhetoric on the subject from Pakistan. Now we need to see how Pakistan would be able to match deed with word," he said.

On Saturday, India's foreign ministry said it was opening only one border crossing on Monday between the two countries in disputed Kashmir to provide relief to earthquake victims instead of five as planned. Two more will be opened later in the week.

Indian authorities said mines needed to be removed from the heavily militarised border zone and landslides cleared.

There was no sign that the decision was linked to any disquiet over the bombs in India but it came as a blow to hopes that the old enemies could show some cooperation in helping victims of the deadly Oct. 8 earthquake, which devastated Kashmir on both sides of the border and Pakistan's North West Frontier Province.

Hindu-dominated India and Islamic Pakistan were both born out of British colonial India in 1947. They have gone to war three times, twice over Kashmir, which is divided between them and claimed in entirety by both.

The South Asian rivals launched the peace process after teetering on the brink of another war over Kashmir in 2002. Those tensions were sparked by an attack on India's parliament by Pakistan-based groups opposed to New Delhi's rule in Kashmir.

While the peace moves have helped mend ties and established a new warmth between the two sides, they have made slow progress over resolving the Kashmir territorial dispute.

"Despite the major earthquake on Oct. 8 ... there has been no let up in infiltration bids or terrorist activities," Indian Army Major-General V.K. Singh told a news conference in Srinagar on Sunday.

He said Indian troops had killed 147 Muslim militants trying to infiltrate into Indian Kashmir from Pakistan Kashmir in the first 10 months of the year, nearly double the number killed over the same period last year.

TOUGH CHOICE FOR MUSHARRAF?

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's promise to curb all Pakistan-based militant groups fighting Indian forces in Kashmir and New Delhi's pledge to negotiate the territorial dispute were central to the progress of the peace process.

The Kashmiri group which claimed last month's Delhi blasts, Islami Inqilabi Mahaz, is a front for outlawed, Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, experts say.

The claim, along with increasing indications that no other militant group had the capability to carry out such an attack -- despite Islamabad's pledge nearly two years ago to crack down on them -- has forced even moderates in New Delhi to harden positions.

"Musharraf's promises are diplomatic junk bonds, as make-believe as his war on Lashkar," the Indian Express wrote in an editorial last week.

"The mix of dissimulation and deception has outlived its utility," it said. "Islamabad is seriously misreading the impact of the most destructive terrorist attack on Indian soil, outside Jammu and Kashmir, in 12 years."

But cracking down on Islamist groups in Pakistan, and their collaborators in the establishment, if any, is likely to be easier said than done for Musharraf.

Militants and their affiliates, including the Jamat-ud-Dawa, the charity arm of Lashkar-e-Taiba, have been actively involved in relief work after last month's earthquake centred in Pakistani Kashmir which killed more than 73,000 people.

At the Dhaka meeting, Pakistani Prime Minister Aziz is likely to reassure Singh that Islamabad would cooperate in investigating the Delhi blasts, Pakistani analysts said.

"He will again convey Pakistan's readiness to cooperate in investigations," said retired Pakistani general Talat Masood. "But without any substantial evidence, then naturally India cannot ask Pakistan to do this and that."


Thanks, D.
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