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Boucher likely to visit India, Pakistan in August

Richard Boucher is expected to persuade the two countries to continue with the peace process.

india Updated: Jul 25, 2006 01:50 IST

Amid a war of words between India and Pakistan over Mumbai blasts, senior US Administration official Richard Boucher is likely to undertake a visit to the sub-continent next month.

Boucher, Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, is likely to visit India and Pakistan in the middle of August, official sources said on Monday.

He is expected to persuade the two countries to continue with the peace process, which is under strain in the aftermath of the July 11 train blasts in Mumbai.

The Foreign Secretary-level talks, that were expected to take place on July 20, were postponed indefinitely by India in the wake of the blasts.

New Delhi has said elements from Pakistan were behind the deadly terror attack that killed about 200 people and injured more than 700. Islamabad has said that New Delhi was accusing it without any evidence and offered to help if proof was provided.

In response to this, India said the neighbouring country should first act on the evidence provided in the past and demanded handing over of Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin and global terrorist Dawood Ibrahim, who is the prime accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts.

Boucher last week expressed hope that India and Pakistan will maintain the progress they achieved in their relationship despite recent strains after the Mumbai serial blasts and said the neighbours will find ways to ensure peace in the region.

He said under the present circumstances the focus must be on the "evidence" of who or what groups may have been behind the Tuesday blasts.