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Thursday, 16 May, 2002, 18:19 GMT 19:19 UK
Indian press hits out at Pakistan
Indian headlines
Indian papers want action, but many urge caution
The Indian press has strongly criticised Tuesday's militant attack in Jammu, with most newspapers describing it as yet another obvious instance of Pakistan-backed violence.

Editorials in Pakistan, meanwhile, have accused Delhi of ignoring Islamabad's denials that it had anything to do with the attack.

War clouds... have gathered once again around the corridors of power in India

The Asian Age
Calling the incident "an abominable outrage", The Hindu says it was carried out with "the dastardly purpose of provoking India".

The paper says this is obvious from the fact that the militants, suspected to be members of two groups recently banned by Pakistan, struck near an army camp, killing more than 30 people most of them civilians.

The Hindu also says that the primary objective for this attack seems to have been "to deliberately undermine the dynamics of the ongoing globalised campaign against terrorism and to do so with a definitive reference to the Pakistan India sub-text".

The Asian Age speaks of "war clouds that have gathered once again around the corridors of power in India with senior ministers and BJP leaders openly talking of the need to teach Pakistan a lesson".

But in its editorial the paper, along with most others, strongly urges caution.

The US is allowing India to get away with murder just because that suits its interests

The Daily Times
It acknowledges that "continuing violence in Kashmir suggests either that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is not speaking the entire truth, or that there still are some fringe elements in the Pakistani army and the ISI Pakistan intelligence who are still sponsoring the terrorists".

But the Asian Age says the incident calls more than ever before for calm and political maturity.

This is advice that the Economic Times strongly seconds.

The paper says that, while it is clear that Tuesday's incident is "no freedom struggle", those Indian defence or political leaders tempted to argue for surgical strikes across the Line of Control hold too "sanguine a view".

It says that the options India should consider are diplomatic - "to pile on pressure on the US and the West to recognise that they can no longer wink at General Musharraf's duplicity on terrorists", and at home, to ensure even greater "security internally".

US 'should do more'

Pakistani papers are quick to point out that the attack coincided with a visit to the region by a senior US official.

It is unfair that having done so much, it [Pakistan] continues to be accused by India of sponsoring so-called cross-border terrorism

The Nation
Not for the first time, they argue, have attempts to get the two countries to talk been derailed by violence.

India, they say, is using the attack as a pretext for refusing to resume dialogue.

The Nation points to the recent bomb attack in Karachi as proof that Pakistan, too, suffers at the hands of militants.

"It is unfair that having done so much, it continues to be accused by India of sponsoring so-called cross-border terrorism," the paper says in an editorial.

"It is incumbent on countries like the US to do more to make India see sense in settling the issue of Kashmir."

This is a time to stay cool and to refrain from provocative words and actions

The Dawn
The Statesman, in an editorial headlined "Telltale coincidence", accuses India of "Pakistan-bashing".

"The massive concentration of Indian army all along the line of control leaves little scope for any infiltration from Pakistan," it argues.

The Dawn also notes the timing of the attack, but urges caution on both sides.

"There is a growing concern that the incident could provide India with the pretext for an armed adventure that could trigger full-scale war," it says.

"This is a time to stay cool and to refrain from provocative words and actions."

The Daily Times warns the US to beware "buying the Indian line wholesale".

It underlines what many see as a key reason why Washington wants to avert conflict.

"The US must also realise that a war between India and Pakistan, however limited, will divert attention from the critical task of tracking down and eliminating al-Qaeda terrorists hiding in Afghanistan and Pakistan."

See also:

15 May 02 | South Asia
US seeks South Asia talks
15 May 02 | South Asia
Eyewitness: Kashmir camp attack
15 May 02 | South Asia
Analysis: US keeps South Asian peace
06 Apr 02 | South Asia
Indian police warn of Kashmir 'plot'
14 May 02 | South Asia
US balancing act over Kashmir
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