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Tuesday, 15 January, 2002, 12:52 GMT
India 'still waiting' for action
Kashmir militant attack
India blames Pakistan for attacks by militant groups
India says it is still waiting for action by Pakistan against militant groups blamed for attacks on Indian targets in Kashmir and elsewhere.

We'll see what progress is made. We're awaiting first steps

Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh
"We do expect action in regard to curbing cross-border terrorism and preventing infiltration in Jammu and Kashmir," Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh said.

Mr Singh, speaking after a cabinet meeting on security, also said it was only three days since President Musharraf of Pakistan made a major speech promising to curb radical Islamic groups.

"This is not sufficient time to assess the steps taken," he said.

But he stressed that India did want Pakistan to hand over 20 people on a list of alleged criminals and terrorist suspects.

The current stand-off between the two nuclear-capable countries has led to a huge military build-up along their border

It followed an attack on India's parliament in December which Delhi blamed on Pakistani-based Islamic militants.

US role

The latest comments as US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, prepares to visit to the region.

Atal Behari Vajpayee (left) shakes hands with Pervez Musharraf
Mr Powell will attempt to bring the two leaders together
Pakistan wants the US to mediate with India to defuse existing tensions.

An un-named foreign ministry official told AFP that Islamabad viewed Mr Powell's tour as a "major opportunity" to press for the opening of a dialogue with Delhi.

Mr Powell himself has said it would be a disaster if India and Pakistan went to war over Kashmir.

Speaking on American television , he said: "We need Indian and Pakistan to pull back."

"We need to reduce the possibility that something could spark a conflict between the two sides," he said.

He also commended Pakistan's leader for taking a bold step against extremism and terrorism.

The half-a-century old dispute over Kashmir lies at the heart of differences between India and Pakistan and Mr Powell is expected to look for ways to encourage the two sides to begin a dialogue.

But India rejects third-party mediation on Kashmir which it wants to address bilaterally. was found against them.

Teresita Schaffer, Asia analyst
"India wants to judge Musharraf by his actions more than his words"
See also:

15 Jan 02 | South Asia
Powell's delicate challenge
07 Jan 02 | South Asia
Blair urges Kashmir dialogue
07 Jan 02 | South Asia
Analysis: Musharraf on a tightrope
14 Jan 02 | South Asia
India unmoved by Pakistan crackdown
13 Jan 02 | South Asia
Bush urges Pakistan-India dialogue
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