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Pakistan Condemns India Train Attack


Pakistani officials are strongly condemning the attack on an Indian train carrying hundreds of passengers to the Pakistan border. Bombs apparently started fires that killed at least 60 passengers. VOA correspondent Benjamin Sand reports from Islamabad, where government leaders are voicing outrage over the attack but counseling caution when it comes to cross-border relations.

Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf on Monday warned his people against overreacting to the attack.

President Musharraf said the bomb blasts overnight should not disrupt the two country's three-year peace talks.

Pakistan's state-run press association said the president insisted that his government will not allow those who want to sabotage the peace process to "succeed in their nefarious designs."

Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri expressed both shock and outrage over the attack.

"Innocent men and women lost their lives (and) most of the dead are Pakistani," he said. " We would like (the) Indian government to investigate this incident and we are waiting for the results."

Officials here in Islamabad say that at least 500 of the more than 700 people on the train were from Pakistan.

Nevertheless, Kasuri says he will go ahead with a long-planned visit to India this week. He says the attack will not hurt bilateral relations.

Pakistani officials are also downplaying speculation that militants from Pakistan may have played a role in the attack. Kasuri's spokeswoman says that until a thorough investigation has been completed, it is impossible to say who planned the attack or why they carried it out.

The train was one of the few tangible products of Pakistan and India's slow-moving peace talks.

The twice-weekly train service connects India's capital New Delhi to Lahore, in eastern Pakistan.

Historically, the two countries have had tense relations, and they have fought three wars. A major block to peace between them is the divided region of Kashmir. Islamic militants in Indian-controlled Kashmir have waged a violent separatist insurgency for nearly two decades, and New Delhi accuses Pakistan of giving the militants secret support. The Islamabad government denies those accusations.

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