- The Washington Times - Friday, July 14, 2006

BOMBAY — The bombers who targeted Bombay’s rail system had support from inside Pakistan, India’s prime minister said yesterday, warning that the nuclear-armed rivals’ peace process could be derailed unless Islamabad reins in terrorists.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s unusually blunt comments appeared to signal a major shift in relations between India and Pakistan, whose ties had warmed over the past two years.

Also yesterday, investigators named a third suspect in the carefully coordinated bombings that shattered first-class commuter rail cars Tuesday, killing more than 200 people.

“We will leave no stone unturned — I reiterate, no stone unturned — in ensuring that terrorist elements in India are neutralized and smashed,” Mr. Singh told reporters in Bombay. “These acts of terrorism are desperate acts of desperate individuals.”

Mr. Singh, who met bombing victims and officials, noted that Pakistan had assured India two years ago its territory “would not be used to promote, encourage, aid and abet terrorism.”

“That assurance has to be fulfilled before the peace process and other processes progress,” he said.

Pakistan quickly denied Mr. Singh’s accusations, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam calling them “unsubstantiated.”

However, Mr. Singh said investigators are certain that terror cells operating in India “are instigated, inspired and supported by elements across the border, without which they cannot act with such devastating effect.

“They clearly want to destroy our growing economic strength,” Mr. Singh said.

After coming to the brink of war in 2002, India and Pakistan began a peace process that has brought them closer, yet concrete agreement on the most pressing issue — the Himalayan region of Kashmir — has been minimal.

Scheduled talks July 20 between the foreign secretaries of the two countries appeared increasingly unlikely, with local news reports saying they had been canceled.

Investigators were casting a wide net for the assailants — focusing on a Pakistan-based Islamic militant network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, along with smaller homegrown groups.

Bombay Police Commissioner A.N. Roy said a man known only as Rahil was the third person sought in connection with the blasts. The Indian government’s anti-terror squad released photos Thursday night of two other suspects, Sayyad Zabiuddin and Zulfeqar Fayyaz.

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