|NEW DELHI, July 14: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh accused unnamed elements in Pakistan on Friday for playing a role in the train blasts that killed about 200 people in Mumbai this week.
The prime minister made the comments after visiting a blast-rattled Mumbai and meeting some of the victims, who are still recuperating at different hospitals.
Acording to a TV channel report, Dr Singh declared that the peace process would remain frozen “till Islamabad starts acting on its assurance to crack down on the terrorist elements in its soil”.
The official text of his comments carried no such reference.
CNN-IBN channel quoted him as saying: “Pakistan has given us this assurance that its territory will not be used for any activity against India. That assurance has to be fulfilled before the peace process moves forward…The 7/11 blasts are bound to affect relations with Pakistan. In the face of such events happening, it becomes very difficult to maintain normal relations with that country.”
Some news reports quoted a statement by the foreign ministry as announcing suspension of the foreign secretary level talks with Pakistan scheduled in New Delhi next week but there was no official confirmation except oblique comments suggesting a postponement.
At the end of his Mumbai visit, Dr Singh said: “It cannot be business as usual for us. We have to ponder over this and act on credible strategy.”
That strategy appeared to involve the approach towards Pakistan. He said: “We must recognise that terrorists are trying to spread their tentacles across the country. Terror modules exist in Mumbai and in many other parts of the country. We have credible information to this effect. We are also certain that these terror modules are instigated, inspired and supported by elements across the border without which they cannot act with such devastating effect.”
But the clearest signal that the blasts would have a direct bearing on the CBM talks came not from the government but the ruling Congress party.
“It is very difficult for the nation, which faces a mayhem due to terrorism, to continue the CBMs and peace talks,” Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters in New Delhi.
“If the atmosphere is not improved immediately, we cannot rule out anything,” Mr Singhvi said, adding: “India does not believe in suspending the talks or in abandoning the CBMs. But it cannot be one-way.”
Asked if the ruling party would urge the government to hold up the peace talks with Pakistan, Mr Singhvi said: “These are our party’s views. It is for the government to decide on the future course of the talks.”
The prime minister said terrorists were becoming sophisticated in the way they deal death and devastation. “There is a necessity to upgrade our technological capabilities, our electronic surveillance systems, our communication interception capabilities, our access control systems to vital installations and high profile targets,” he said.
“It is equally important to lay emphasis on communal harmony. We can’t allow terrorists to destroy our unity. As I had said in my address to the nation, our strength lies in our unity. Fighting together, we will win this battle against terror.”
i feel every time when we make some progress in peace some thing of this sort happens and every thing is freezed or rolled back. when karachi blast could not do it, here we have one in mumbai.
Also what interests me is that 'is it just a co incident that indian statement comes after a phone call from Geroge W Bush or it has some singnificant'. if one takes a good look, even PM of INDIA mentioned in his statement the concerns showed by bush, Blair, Afghan government. Is this blast being used to put pressure on already stretched to limit pakistan to take hasty actions on tribal areas, where there is also stiff resistance now and suicide attacks on pak military have picked up. Your worthy thoughts.