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India's PM too soft on Pakistan? Opposition says yes.

Opposition party members walk out of parliament over what they say is an unwarranted concession to Pakistan.

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India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (r.) shakes hands with his Pakistani counterpart Yousaf Raza Gilani during a meeting July 16.

Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

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India's recent extension of an olive branch – more of a twig, really – to Pakistan is stirring strong political opposition at home and doing little to nudge Pakistan's military away from its focus on India as its primary security threat.

The United States has been hoping that tentative moves toward peace between the two nuclear-armed states would bring more cooperation from Pakistan on defeating the Taliban and stabilizing Afghanistan. Pakistan might be persuaded that it could divert military resources from Kashmir, a territory that India and Pakistan have fought over for decades.

But a controversy that erupted in India this week shows how powerful the obstacles are to incremental progress, let alone ultimate solutions.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani announced earlier this month that they had agreed to delink the issue of terrorism from the broader peace process between the two nations, a symbolically significant concession by India following a deadly attack on Mumbai in November that was carried out by Pakistani nationals.

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