Amid relief in Pakistan over the absence of “finger-pointing'' from India following the blasts in Mumbai, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Thursday said “such incidents only confirm our resolve to work together for the elimination of the menace of terrorism in the region.''

In fact, the premier opened his address to the National Command Authority – which controls Pakistan's nuclear assets – with a reference to the blasts. This was the second condemnation of the blasts – which got headline coverage, not just on television but also in the print media, from the Pakistani leadership in the past two days.

The events in Mumbai are being closely watched here. Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, Director General of the Foreign Office-funded Institute of Strategic Studies, at a public talk, said there may be an attempt to link the Mumbai blasts to Pakistan and this could put a strain on the ongoing dialogue process.

Meanwhile, in a terror-related development, Malik Ishaq, chief of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and accused of plotting the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team, was released on bail, after being lodged in Lahore's Kot Lakpat jail.

As he stepped out of the jail premises, Ishaq was greeted by his followers and television footage showed his vehicles being showered with rose petals. According to reports, activists of LeJ – a sectarian outfit – were joined by members of the Sipah-e-Sahaba and Ahl-e-Sunnat wal Jamaat in welcoming him.

PTI reports from Srinagar:

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday lashed out at the BJP for blaming Pakistan for the serial attacks in Mumbai saying it should wait for the investigations to be completed. “I will request everyone, from L.K. Advani to others, that until it is clear who is behind these attacks, we should not blame others. It is our bad habit that we first put the blame and then try to find proof to prove it right,” Mr. Omar told reporters.

“When the Samjhauta train attack took place we first blamed the neighbouring country, but then we came to know it was our own people who did it to disturb the communal harmony in the country. Until we have solid proof we should not blame anyone,” he said.

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