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Wednesday, 22 May, 2002, 22:32 GMT 23:32 UK
Pakistan's war fears
Pakistani soldiers on Kashmir Line of Control
Both sides have massed troops in Kashmir

On the streets of Islamabad, the consensus is that both Pakistan and India need to work harder to avoid a war.

"This is not the time for this type of tension," said one resident.

"India and Pakistan have a long history together and it is time to stop acting like children and act like mature nations."

Pervez Musharraf
President Musharraf has promised to control militants
Most people are sceptical about the prospects for a limited or contained war.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has said that while Pakistan's strategy is one of deterrence, the greatest deterrent is the determination of the nation to fight to its last drop of blood.

"War is war," said another Islamabad resident.

"It can start from a small battle. It is like a fire in the jungle, easy to light but very difficult to control."

There are serious concerns about the fact that both countries are nuclear powers.

Media concerns

The media is highlighting General Musharraf's pledge in January to rein in militants.

The Daily Times newspaper says the Americans are particularly concerned about extremists.

It says: "While the US is worried about the Indian build-up leading to war or otherwise, it expects Pakistan to make good the promises General Musharraf made to crack down on all types of Jehadis, which include not just those hatching trouble for the Americans in Pakistan and Afghanistan but those fomenting insurgency in Kashmir."

'Too much pressure'

However, others here believe President Musharraf should be given more credit for banning some Kashmiri and sectarian groups and rounding up their members.

"The pressure from India is too high," said a shopper in central Islamabad.

"It should appreciate the genuine steps taken by the Pakistani Government.

"It should look closely to see if the attacks are self inflicted or promoted by Pakistan.

"If there was any support by Pakistan, it has stopped - but the freedom struggle continues."

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See also:

22 May 02 | South Asia
21 May 02 | South Asia
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16 May 02 | South Asia
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