As the Pakistani government today assured the Indian foreign ministry that it would do all it could to assist enquiries into the New Delhi bomb blasts over the weekend, Indian church leaders joined in the widespread condemnation of 'this Ö most inhuman act targeting innocent people.'
The comments came from Bishop D. K. Sahu, general secretary of the National Council of Churches in India, an ecumenical alliance of 29 Orthodox and Protestant Churches.
Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox church leaders in India and Pakistan are reportedly working behind the scenes to explore appropriate ways of cooperating and supporting one another in ministering to people at a time of trauma for both nations.
A church social worker in the region told Ekklesia: 'Out of tragedy can come hope. The Christian churches of India and Pakistan have tried to resist communal prejudices, but have sometimes been trapped by them. Now is a time to break down barriers for the human good in the spirit of the Gospel.'
The three bomb blasts in New Delhi resulted in the deaths of 63 people and the injury of some 210 in the run up to Hindu and Muslim festivals of Diwali and Eid ul-Fitr.
Investigators now believe that the atrocities are the work of nationalist extremists, possibly with links in Pakistan and beyond, who wish to thwart peace possibilities in the disputed Kashmir region following a lessening of hostilities in the aftermath of the South Asia earthquake.
On Sunday, India and Pakistan opened several points along Kashmir's line of control - the de facto border between the two countries - to provide better access for relief workers to quake victims.
Diwali, a five-day festival of lights that celebrates the triumph of good over evil, is also marked by Sikhs and Jains, falling this year on 1 November.
Tomorrow's Islamic holy day of Eid ul-Fitr often abbreviated simply as Eid, marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting.