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Peace process on hold after Mumbai attacks

Article published on the 2008-12-16 Latest update 2008-12-16 14:28 TU

India's Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee (L) and Defence Minister AK Antony(File photo: Reuters)

India's Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee (L) and Defence Minister AK Antony
(File photo: Reuters)

The Indian Foreign Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, said that peace talks between India and Pakistan have been put on hold in the aftermath of the attacks in Mumbai that India says were perpetrated by Pakistanis.

"I do admit there is a pause in the composite dialogue process because of the attacks on Mumbai," Mukherjee told reporters in Srinagar, the main city in Indian Kashmir.

He called on Pakistan to “fulfil its commitment of not allowing its territory for terrorist attacks against India”, by dismantling “infrastructural facilities” in Pakistan used by militants.

India says that the Mumbai attackers were trained by the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group against Indian rule in Kashmir. Key leaders were arrested last week.

Indian Defence Minister AK Antony assured reporters in New Delhi that it is not preparing to go to war.

"We are not planning any military action," he said, adding, however, that “things will not be normal” unless Pakistan takes action against those behind the Mumbai attacks and against anti-India militants in Pakistan.

Peace talks between the two countries had already been strained after the bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul in July, which India blamed on Pakistan.

The two countries agreed on a ceasefire along their border in 2003 and launched a peace process in 2004. They have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947.