India, Pakistan pledge “anti-terrorist” cooperation after deadly train attack

The Feb. 18 fire bombing that killed 68 mostly Pakistani passengers and destroyed two coaches on the Samjhauta Express about an hour after the train left New Delhi was an obvious attack on one of the most visible symbols of the India-Pakistan peace process. The India-Pakistan train link was suspended after the 2001 attack on the Indian parliament that India blamed on Pakistan and which nearly led to war. But a peace process has ensued, and the train service reopened in 2004. (AP Feb. 20) Now both governments say the new attack will not disrupt the peace process. “We will not allow elements which want to sabotage the ongoing peace process and succeed in their nefarious designs,” Pakistan’s ruling Gen. Pervez Musharraf said in a statement. There is even talk of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visiting Islamabad soon, a trip that was put on indefinite hold after Mumbai train blasts of last July killed close to 200 people and injured more than 300. But there is an ominous side to this “peace process”—both Delhi and Islamabad are, of course, emphasizing anti-terrorist cooperation, which could mean a more perfect police state in both countries. An India-Pakistan anti-terror panel set up last year is scheduled to hold its first meeting next month in Islamabad, with a focus on stepped-up intelligence sharing. (Asia Times, Feb. 21)

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