ANY untoward incident in India, and Pakistan should be ready to get the blame. By extension, a violent reaction from the oppressed people in Indian-held Kashmir or bomb blasts around its embassies abroad, would have the same consequences. And as a means of asserting its hegemonic ambitions that do not any way resonate with Islamabad, it would not proffer evidence in support, but would like the accusations to be accepted without demur. It was a foregone conclusion, therefore, that fingers would be pointed at Pakistan for the recent suicide attack in front of the Indian Embassy at Kabul. Speaking to the reporters after initiating the fifth round of composite dialogue at New Delhi on Monday, Indian External Affairs Secretary Shivshankar Menon mouthed the allegation, saying that the peace process was, as a result of the bombing incident, "under stress" and would "certainly affect our relations with Pakistan". Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, in a separate press conference, rejected the charge and made a most pertinent point, "if they share this intelligence, we will allay any misgiving they have, but it is wrong to point fingers without evidence." Impartial observers would endorse his view that the blame game that had been played in the Subcontinent for so long has gotten the two countries nowhere. For the peace process to reach its rightful conclusion, the two sides would need to work with the required earnestness rather than indulge in mudslinging. Meanwhile, quite strangely, the US, though maintaining that there is no credible evidence of any Pakistani intelligence agency's involvement in the Kabul incident, insists that Islamabad should take New Delhi's charges "seriously" and get "to the bottom of this". American Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher, who expressed these views in Washington on Monday, made no reference to the fact that the Indians had not provided any proof of their allegations. Nor did he think it worthwhile to tell them that without the provision of intelligence their accusations would be regarded as wild statements of little substance. The New Delhi meeting also announced certain confidence building measures that would make it possible for Kashmiris living on either side of the LoC to cross over more frequently. The Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service will operate on a weekly basis from August 21, to be followed by the Poonch-Rawalakot bus from August 25. One would hope that now that more than four years have elapsed since the peace process began, India would get down to the nitty-gritty of the core issue between the two countries to remove the main stumbling block from the development of good neighbourly relations between them, which would automatically see the end of mutual recriminations.