Elements in Pakistan behind Kabul blast: Menon

July 21st, 2008 - 8:23 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Taliban

New Delhi, July 21 (IANS) India Monday told Pakistan there were elements within its territory which are behind the Kabul blast and asked Islamabad to take immediate steps against these forces to ensure the peace talks between the two neighbours continued in an “atmosphere free of violence”. “The Composite Dialogue has been under stress for some time,” Indian foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon said while alluding to statements by some Pakistani officials that amounted to inciting violence in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere in India.

“The sequence of events has culminated in the Kabul blast,” Menon added.

On July 7, a major blast at the Indian embassy in Kabul killed at least 54 people, including an Indian army brigadier, a diplomat and two ITBP personnel. The blast was thought to be carried out by Taliban activists and, according to Indian national security advisor M.K. Narayanan, was masterminded by Pakistan’s Inter-State Intelligence (ISI).

The foreign secretary-level talks between Menon and his Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir began here this morning to start the new round of “Composite Dialogue” that has been going on since 2004. Terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir and confidence building measures are some of the issues that are directly dealt by the foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan.

The Composite Dialogue is a crucial element in the peace process between the two neighbours that has been on track for the past four years.

Menon told reporters Monday afternoon that one of the reasons for re-starting the dialogue between the two sides was the pledge made by Pakistan that it will not allow its territory or those under its control to be used by terrorists against India.

He stressed that India expected Pakistan to honour its commitment to ensure that the peace process remains on track and maintain the ceasefire that has been in force for the past almost five years.

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