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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

Kasuri's India visit on: Pakistan

Pakistan says the blasts on Samjhauta Express will have no bearing on the foreign minister's planned visit to India.

india Updated: Feb 19, 2007 14:09 IST

Pakistan's foreign minister is going ahead with a trip to India on Tuesday as planned despite bomb blasts on a train in India that killed at least 64 people, most of them Pakistanis.

Pakistan condemned the blasts and said on Monday they would have no bearing on the planned visit to India by Foreign Minister Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri.

"Why should it be changed?" said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam, when asked about Kasuri's trip for talks on the nuclear-armed rivals' tentative peace process.

India has blamed previous bomb attacks on Islamist militants linked to Pakistan, casting a pall over the three-year-old peace process.

Aslam said initial reports suggested most of the victims on the train bound for Pakistan were Pakistanis.

"We condemn this act of terrorism in which many precious lives have been lost," she said.

"It is the responsibility of the Indian authorities to provide security to the train inside Indian territory. We expect Indian authorities to punish the perpetrators."

The train service links the Indian capital New Delhi with the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore, although passengers have to get down at the border and cross on foot before boarding another train for their destination.

Pakistan, for its part, said the service would continue, although Pakistani Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said security would be stepped up on the Pakistani leg of the journey.

"This kind of incident can't stop good and positive relations between India and Pakistan," Ahmed said.

First Published: Feb 19, 2007 11:48 IST

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