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Tuesday, 8 January, 2002, 13:14 GMT
India demands proof of Pakistan resolve
Protests in Pakistan
Protests in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, as the crisis continues
India says it has seen no genuine shift in Pakistan's stance towards militant groups despite Pakistani leader Pervez Musharraf's denunciation of terrorism "in all its forms".

India accuses Pakistan of supporting armed separatists in Kashmir and blames them for last month's attack on the Indian parliament.


Pakistan rejects terrorism in all its forms and manifestations

President Musharraf

"What we are expecting from Pakistan is concrete, serious, substantive steps to deal with cross-border terrorism," said Indian foreign ministry spokeswoman Nirupama Rao.

"I don't see any shift in their position on terrorism as directed against India. I think the time has come for Pakistan to shed the ambivalence it continues to maintain on such issues," she added.

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has promised to take tougher steps against those he describes as promoting intolerance and violence.

Click here for map of border region

Mr Musharraf said he would announce new measures within days against the Kashmiri separatists.

Blair visit

He was speaking after talks on Monday with UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, who said Pakistan and India could only solve the Kashmir problem by dialogue.

The Indian spokeswoman reiterated Delhi's opposition to any outside mediation in the dispute, saying "there really is no room for any third-party involvement".

Pakistan security forces say they have arrested more than 300 Islamic activists over the past 10 days.

refugee
Refugees have been leaving the Kashmir border area in fear of fighting

Mr Musharraf has also promised to examine a list of 20 suspects that India has asked to be extradited.

He said: "Pakistan rejects terrorism in all its forms and manifestations."

Analysts say that India will probably wait to see what Mr Musharraf says in a TV address to Pakistanis, expected within days.

Brahma Chellaney, a political analyst with the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi, said: "That's going to lay out his agenda against terrorism.

"If they want to avert war, they will have to climb down from their current advocacy and support of terrorism."

Inflammatory teaching

Mr Musharraf says what he is doing now is part of a policy he started before 11 September, to reduce the influence of Muslim militants in Pakistan.

Pervez Musharraf
Musharraf faces internal opposition to the anti-terror policy
But the BBC's Jonathan Head in Islamabad says it is a policy which may still take months or even years to implement.

It means toning down the inflammatory teaching which takes place in thousands of religious schools in Pakistan, and it will require new thinking in the country's military, which has in the past supported the Islamic groups who sent fighters to Kashmir.

US pressure

US President George W Bush called on Mr Musharraf to make a clear statement that he intends to deal with terrorist groups.

"I don't believe the situation is defused yet, but I do believe there is a way to do so," Mr Bush said.

"We are working hard to convince both the Indians and the Pakistanis there's a way to deal with their problems without going to war," he added.

Mr Bush is considering whether to send a special envoy to the region.

India holds two militant groups - Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Toiba - responsible for the Delhi attack, and has publicly ruled out any dialogue until Pakistan brings them to justice.

Both groups have threatened more assaults on military targets in the Kashmir area and urged civilians to stay away.

Suspected Islamic militants used guns and grenades to attack an army camp in a border area on Tuesday, killing one Indian soldier and wounding four before soldiers returned fire and killed two militants, a police officer said.




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 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Jim Fish
"Tensions along the Indian, Pakistan border still remains high"
Kashmir author Victoria Schofield
"It's really up to the Indian Prime Minister"
Delhi columnist Saeed Naqvi
"The public mood here has hardened"
See also:

07 Jan 02 | South Asia
Blair urges Kashmir dialogue
07 Jan 02 | South Asia
Analysis: Musharraf on a tightrope
06 Jan 02 | UK Politics
Blair handles diplomacy hazards
07 Jan 02 | South Asia
Blair urges support for Afghanistan
04 Jan 02 | Americas
Powell urges Pakistan to do more
03 Jan 02 | South Asia
Musharraf seeks China's backing
07 Jan 02 | South Asia
War moves spread fear on border
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