MUMBAI, India – India is urging an unambiguous response to the Mumbai train bombings from leaders of the Group of Eight major industrialized nations, and says such attacks are jeopardizing its peace process with nuclear-armed rival Pakistan.
The eight blasts last week killed at least 200 people, triggering public anger — and growing accusations that the perpetrators were Islamic militants aided by Muslim-majority Pakistan, the neighbor and archrival of predominantly Hindu India.
Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran told reporters Saturday that terrorist attacks are eroding the India-Pakistan peace process, begun in 2004.
"Every time something like this happens, it undermines public confidence" in the peace process, Saran said.
"Anger is generated," he said. "It is becoming very difficult to take the process forward."
Asked about Saran's remark, Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said, "We don't have any comment."
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Friday the bombers had support from inside Pakistan, whose government dismissed the allegation as "unsubstantiated."
Singh, set to fly Sunday to St. Petersburg to be an observer at the G8 leaders' summit, will make "a very strong pitch for a united response" to the bombings, Saran said.
Indian leaders have become increasingly worried that violence is spreading to the rest of the country from Muslim-majority Kashmir, the Himalayan region at the heart of India-Pakistan enmity.
Kashmir is split between the two countries, and both claim it all. Militants in the Indian part have been fighting for 16 years for independence from India or merger with Pakistan, and India accuses Pakistan of aiding them. Pakistan says it only supports their cause morally.
Saran said a number of deadly terrorist strikes in India in the past several years are "not just an India-Pakistan problem. Unless there is a recognition that this is a wider regional and global problem, it would be very difficult to confront it."
"There is a certain urgency and a certain need for there to be an unambiguous, united international response to terrorism — not just linked to this event but to see how this is interconnected with the global phenomenon," he said.
Saran made it clear that talks with his Pakistani counterpart to review the progress of the peace process would not take place any time soon. The talks had been slated for July 20.