The killing of nearly 30 poor slum dwellers by suspected Islamic militants is the latest in a series of terrorist outrages that seem designed to ensure the conflict in Kashmir, and the tension between India and Pakistan, continues. Since last October, these attacks have become increasingly vicious. In that month, 38 people were killed in an attack on the Kashmir state legislature. In December, terrorists struck at the Indian parliament. The prime minister and cabinet escaped injury, but 14 people were killed. More than 30, including women and children, were killed in an attack on an Indian army camp in May, a month in which a moderate Muslim politician was also shot dead. The Islamic extremists who are believed to be behind these attacks appear intent on provoking a clash between India and Pakistan. They are known to slip into India from Pakistan, and the latest attack seems to demonstrate that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's pledges to stop this movement have not been effective. India and Pakistan have a mutual interest in cracking down on these wanton acts of violence, which increasingly target innocent civilians. With each attack, domestic pressure rises in India to send troops across the border into Pakistan to attack camps where terrorists are thought to be based. This would inevitably trigger retaliation from Pakistan and plunge both countries into a conflict that might end with nuclear weapons being used. At best, such incidents weaken the hands of moderates in Kashmir and India who believe a political solution to the conflict is possible. In the case of Pakistan it cannot be in General Musharraf's interest to harbour violent extremists. Today, their attention is turned on Kashmir. Tomorrow, they might well turn on his administration. Attacks against foreigners in Pakistan have already shown how destabilising the presence of armed extremists can be. It is important that Pakistan makes a determined effort to crack down on terrorism, including terrorism directed at India. At the same time, it is essential for a dialogue between the two South Asian governments to resume. This must be a broad-based, meaningful dialogue that must include the problem of Kashmir. If the help of a third party is required to start such talks, then India should be open to this.