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Peace talks at lowest point, says India

August 02, 2008

COLOMBO, Aug 1: India said on Friday that peace talks with Pakistan were at the lowest point in their four-year history after a spate of bombings in Indian cities and at the country’s embassy in Kabul.

Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon said the blasts had “affected the future” of negotiations between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

“If you ask me to describe the state of the dialogue, it is in a place where it hasn’t been in the last four years,” Mr Menon told reporters.

“We face a situation where things have happened in the recent past which were unfortunate and which quite frankly have affected the future of the dialogue.”

The Kabul attack, ceasefire breach and media speculation about Pakistani links to the bomb attacks on Indian cities have all contributed to the worsening atmosphere.

“That is why we are talking to Pakistan, that’s why we are carrying on these conversations,” Mr Menon said, adding that India was still investigating the Kabul blast.

“It’s a jigsaw puzzle. We have some of the pieces. The pieces that we have, I told you where they lead,” he said.—Reuters