India, Pakistan talks amid fresh tensions
INDIA: India and Pakistan's foreign secretaries were to meet
yesterday to bolster a fragile peace dialogue undermined by political
flux in Pakistan and fresh tensions over the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
A senior Indian government official said the talks in New Delhi
between Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai and his Pakistani counterpart
Jalil Abbas Jilani had the sole aim of keeping the “dialogue process on
Their meeting was to have taken place at the end of last month, but
was postponed in the uncertainty that followed the Pakistani Supreme
Court's dismissal of Yousuf Raza Gilani as prime minister.
Analysts said the upheaval in Islamabad had taken some of the
momentum out of the peace dialogue between the nuclear-armed South Asian
rivals, who have fought three wars since the sub-continent was
partitioned in 1947.
Moreover, the atmosphere has been soured by India's arrest of a man
suspected of being a key handler for the 10 Pakistan-based militants who
carried out the 2008 Mumbai attacks, killing 166 people.
India says the suspect has admitted helping to coordinate the deadly
assault from a command post in Karachi, and his testimony has renewed
Indian accusations that “state elements” in Pakistan were involved.
“The blame game has started again and the secretaries' meeting comes
at a crucial juncture,” said Wilson John, a foreign policy analyst at
the Observer Research Foundation, an independent think tank in New
“Too much heat and dust has been stirred up at various levels.” AFP