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Friday, 23 August, 2002, 10:49 GMT 11:49 UK
US envoy in Kashmir talks
Indian soldier on guard near the Line of Control in Kashmir
Tensions between India and Pakistan are still high
A senior American envoy is holding talks aimed at ending the current stand-off between India and Pakistan.

US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage is in the Indian capital, Delhi, as part of continuing American engagement in the region.

Both nuclear-capable countries have about a million troops ranged along their border, although the threat of war has receded in recent weeks.

Training of terrorists, financing them, providing arms to them, letting terrorist camps continue to function on Pakistani soil

Indian Home Minister LK Advani
India blames Pakistan for militant attacks in Indian-administered Kashmir, a charge Islamabad consistently denies.

Mr Armitage met the Indian Defence Minister, George Fernandes, before going on to meetings with senior foreign office and national security officials.

Delhi is expected to tell him that Islamic militants have continued to cross into Indian-administered Kashmir, despite Pakistan's promise to stop the infiltration.

The promise from Pakistan followed Mr Armitage's last visit to Delhi three months ago, at a time when tension was very high.

Mr Armitage travels to Islamabad for talks with Pakistani officials on Saturday.

'At war'

On Thursday, India's Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani said Pakistan had to dismantle what he called the infrastructure of terrorism that it had built up.

Speaking at a news conference at the end of a three-day visit to Britain, he said Pakistan played host to training camps for Kashmiri militants.

LK Advani at a party meeting on Kashmir elections
Mr Advani seeks support for Delhi's Kashmir policy
Mr Advani was visiting Britain to secure support for Delhi's Kashmir policy - the Indian part of Kashmir is due to hold elections next month.

In a BBC interview, he repeated that his country was "at war" with Pakistan over cross-border attacks by separatist militants.

Mr Advani said if Pakistan ended its support for "cross-border terrorism", Delhi would join it in talks on all bilateral issues including Kashmir.

He said he was even willing to consider establishing a "co-operative confederation" - linking India, Pakistan and Bangladesh - to move relations forward.

"If European countries can overcome their historical animosities and forge unity for progress," he said, "why can't we do the same?"


Indian officials say Mr Advani asked for British help in stopping the flow of funds from expatriate Kashmiris to the militants active at home.

Analysts say this is important for Delhi's efforts to hold credible state elections in Indian-administered Kashmir in mid-September.

Pakistan says it is impossible to completely seal the Line of Control (LoC) which divides Kashmir between the two countries.

Its foreign minister made clear this week that Pakistan did not "encourage, permit or allow" anyone to cross the LoC.

But Inam-ul-Haq said the difficult terrain made it possible that a few were crossing it "unbeknown" to Pakistani forces.

And he repeated Pakistan's proposal that an international mechanism to monitor the situation on the LoC should be set up to see whether any militants were getting through.

Indian Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani
"I've no doubt Pakistan is sponsoring cross-border terrorism"
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See also:

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20 Aug 02 | South Asia
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