"It is extremely unfortunate, whenever we see that there is going to be peace talks between India and Pakistan, these kinds of incidents happen. It seems somebody is trying to derail the peace process between India and Pakistan," Singh told reporters.

"The Prime Minster has already made a statement regarding the incident, and talks with his Pakistani counterpart are going to take place. It is something to vitiate the atmosphere," the minister said.

He also slammed opposition Bharatiya Janata Party for demanding that talks be stopped, in the wake of the attack. "The main opposition party is doing politics with this attack. The BJP seems to have a short memory. They seem to have forgotten that when they were in power during the Kargil War, they too invited General Pervez Musharraf to Agra for peace talks," Singh added.

Hostilities erupted between troops of India and Pakistan in 1999, in the Kargil sector of Jammu and Kashmir, about 200 km from Srinagar, while Atal Bihari Vajpayee of the BJP was prime minister.

"In a democratic situation, you always have to talk to your neighbour. Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) is committed to bringing peace on the India-Pakistan front. He will definitely raise the hard questions that need to be asked to his counterparts during the peace talks," he said. The Minister also offered his condolences to the families of those killed in the attack.

(Agencies)

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