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Friday, 4 January, 2002, 20:00 GMT
Powell urges Pakistan to do more
Anti-India protests in Karachi, Pakistan
Mr Powell said tensions remained dangerously high
Jon Leyne

The US Secretary of State Colin Powell, who has taken a leading role in efforts to defuse the crisis between India and Pakistan, has stressed the need of both sides to step up efforts to avoid a conflict.


Is there more President Musharraf can do? I'm sure there is

Colin Powell
US Secretary of State
In an interview with the BBC, Mr Powell said he had seen some encouraging signs and praised the attempts of both countries to try to find a solution to the present situation.

But he said Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf could do more to rein in the organisations India holds responsible for an attack on the Delhi parliament last month.

He urged the leaders of both countries to make efforts to meet at a summit they are both attending in Nepal.

De-escalation

The secretary of state said President Bush was also thinking of sending an American envoy to the region.

Pakistani troops at the line of control
There has been a massive build-up of troops
Mr Powell suggested that India and Pakistan needed in due course to begin a dialogue over the issue of Kashmir, but he said the immediate focus should be to stabilise then de-escalate the current crisis.

"One way that we're all working toward now is to get the Pakistani government to take action against these terrorist organisations and President Musharraf is doing so," he said.

"Is there more he can do? I'm sure there is and I expect him to do more. Every day for the past week or so, he has taken a step more in that direction."

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 ON THIS STORY
US Secretary of State Colin Powell
"Musharraf has made a number of bold statements"
See also:

04 Jan 02 | South Asia
South Asia's crippled regional body
03 Jan 02 | South Asia
Thousands flee rivals' war moves
03 Jan 02 | South Asia
Security increased at Taj Mahal
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