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Wednesday, 29 May, 2002, 17:39 GMT 18:39 UK
Musharraf rallies Pakistan troops
President Pervez Musharraf inspects a fighter aircraft of the Pakistani Air Force
President Musharraf is ready to unleash his forces
Pakistan's military ruler, General Pervez Musharraf, says that if the Indian army attacks his country, the fighting will be carried back into India.

"The defence forces of the country are fully prepared ... in case of any aggression from across the borders," General Musharraf told soldiers at an air force base.


Any incursion by the Indian forces across the line of control even by an inch will unleash a storm

General Pervez Musharraf
"And if the war is thrust on us it will be fought in the enemy's territory," he added.

Tensions along the Kashmiri border have been increasing, since a raid on India's parliament in December, blamed by Delhi on Pakistan-based militants.

Pakistan and India have massed a million men along their border, backed by missile batteries, tanks and fighter planes.

Storm warning

In his speech on Wednesday, President Musharraf said Pakistan would counter-attack if India starts a conflict.

"Any incursion by the Indian forces across the line of control (between Pakistani- and Indian-administered Kashmir) even by an inch will unleash a storm that will sweep the enemy," he said.

Enlarge image Enlarge map
Meanwhile, Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged more artillery fire across the line of control on Wednesday.

Seven people, including an Indian soldier, were killed and 30 injured as Pakistani artillery pounded the Poonch region of Indian Kashmir, Indian officials said.

The Pakistanis say 12 people were killed and 14 injured as Indian shells fell on eastern Pakistan and Pakistani-controlled Kashmir.

The two sides have been trading heavy fire along their Kashmir border for the past two weeks.

Implications

During a visit to the region, UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw urged General Musharraf to crack down on cross-border attacks in Indian-administered Kashmir.


Pakistani troops at the border
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


  • Mr Straw said the international community expects "action, not just words" from the Pakistani leader.

    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.

    Mr Singh said General Musharraf had been given enough time to stop attacks.

    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".

    India began the military build-up after the attack on its 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.

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    29 May 02 | South Asia
    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
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