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Wednesday, 29 May, 2002, 11:59 GMT 12:59 UK
UK urges action from Pakistan
UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw (left) and Indian Foreign Secretary Jaswant Singh
Tensions between India and Pakistan remain high
UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has said the international community expects "action, not just words" from Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in cracking down on cross-border attacks in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Speaking at a joint news conference in Delhi with his Indian counterpart Jaswant Singh, Mr Straw said the stand-off between India and Pakistan had "obvious implications" for the rest of the world.


It is vital that [General Musharraf] sees the urgency of the situation

Jaswant Singh, Indian foreign minister
Mr Singh said General Musharraf had been given enough time to stop attacks and that it was "vital that he sees the urgency of the situation".

The British foreign secretary is meeting Indian leaders a day after he held talks with General Musharraf to try to avert a possible war between the two nuclear powers.

Mr Straw's mission comes amid increasing tension as fighting continued across the Kashmiri border and Pakistan test-fired a missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads for the third time on Tuesday.

Authorities in Pakistan said at least five people were killed overnight and eight others injured when Indian troops shelled the Pakistani border village of Bajra Gahri in Punjab province.

The Indian army said at least six people were killed in cross-border firing in Dras, 150 kilometres (155 miles) north of Srinigar, the summer capital of Kashmir.

Concrete steps


Kashmir conflict:
  • 1947 - India and Pakistan fight first war over disputed region
  • 1965 - India blames Pakistan for insurgency, war breaks out again
  • 1989 - Insurgency starts in Indian-administered Kashmir
  • 1999 - Heavy clashes around Kargil in Indian-administered Kashmir


  • Asked whether General Musharraf was genuine in his commitment to halt cross-border attacks, Mr Straw said he believed the president was serious "but the test of everything is action on the ground".

    The foreign minister said the international community "looks to press Musharraf to assure that this undertaking is fulfilled on the ground".

    Earlier, Mr Straw told reporters that he had assured India that Britain condemned terrorism "in all its forms, including cross-border terrorism and terrorism that is dressed up as 'freedom fighters'".

    The foreign secretary is due to hold talks with Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee later on Wednesday.

    Indian impatience

    Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh said at Wednesday news conference that General Musharraf "has had all the time that he wants since 11 September" to crack down on extremist groups.

    He said India had "waited patiently" for Mr Musharraf to stop Pakistan-based militants crossing the border into Indian-administered Kashmir.


    India:
  • Agni II intermediate-range missile
  • Tested 1999
  • 200 kiloton nuclear warhead

    Pakistan:

  • Shaheen II intermediate-range missile
  • Tested 1999
  • 35 kiloton nuclear warhead


  • Mr Singh said there were various proposals to monitor whether Mr Musharraf was delivering on his promises to halt attacks.

    In a speech on Monday, the president said infiltrations into Indian-administered Kashmir had stopped.

    But, Mr Singh on Tuesday described the speech as "belligerent posturing", adding that "tensions have been added not reduced".

    But he again ruled out India launching the first nuclear strike in any conflict.

    India began the military build-up after an attack on its federal parliament in Delhi last December.

    Tension rose again two weeks ago after an attack on an Indian army base in Kashmir in which more than 30 people died.

    With both sides on the brink of war, Pakistan said it was sending special envoys abroad to explain Pakistan's position in the crisis.

     WATCH/LISTEN
     ON THIS STORY
    The BBC's Richard Slee
    "Thousands of people are now leaving their homes"
    The BBC's Adam Mynott
    "The situation on the border continues to deteriorate"
    India's Minister for External Affairs Omar Abdullah
    "If terrorism ends, dialogue will naturally follow"
    Click here fror background reports and analysis

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    See also:

    28 May 02 | UK Politics
    28 May 02 | South Asia
    29 May 02 | South Asia
    28 May 02 | South Asia
    27 May 02 | South Asia
    27 May 02 | South Asia
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