India-Pakistan Peace Efforts Imperiled

A few days after the 11 July metro bombings in India’s Mumbai, which killed 182 people and injured 900 others, India told Pakistan that a meeting of the foreign ministers planned for later that month had been shelved. India suspects that the bombings were “instigated, inspired and supported by elements across the border.”

Though the two ministers did meet at the end of July (on the sidelines of a regional conference in Dhaka, Bangladesh), the incident represented the most serious threat of interrupting the Indian-Pakistani peace process that began in 2004. And it seemed that whatever goodwill remained from the aftermath of the October 2005 earthquake that struck both countries had evaporated. By contrast, extremist anti-India groups got some traction out of the disaster by running highly visible relief efforts after the quake.

Although the détente between the two nuclear-armed neighbors has led to some advances in trade and people-to-people contact, the Kashmir conflict remains as unresolved as ever.

Graham Usher, “Mumbai’s Casualties,” The Nation (New York), 14 August 2006.
Link: www.thenation.com/doc/20060814/usher.
“India, Pakistan in Peace Pledge,” BBC News Online, 1 August 2006.
Link: news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/5233626.stm.
Ahmed Rashid, “Musharraf’s 'Crisis on All Fronts’,” BBC News Online, 21 July 2006.
Link: news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/5190244.stm.
“Chronology—Peace Moves Between India and Pakistan,” Reuters AlertNet, 31 July 2006.
Link: www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/DEL84648.htm.