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Friday, 19 July, 2002, 16:46 GMT 17:46 UK
India rules out Kashmir moves
Indian soldier stands guard in Kashmir
India accuses Pakistan of arming and training militants
India says it will take no further steps to reduce tension with Pakistan until Islamabad puts a complete stop to militant incursions into Indian-administered Kashmir.

Terrorists continue to receive encouragement from Pakistan with the sole aim of threatening our population

Nirupama Rao,
Indian foreign ministry
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Nirupama Rao said India made its position clear in talks with visiting UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.

Mr Straw is meeting senior Indian officials as part of moves to reduce tensions between India and Pakistan, who both still have large numbers of troops massed along the border.

India accuses Pakistan of arming and training Islamic militants fighting Indian rule in Kashmir. Islamabad denies the charge, but has vowed to halt incursions by militants.

Correspondents say Delhi is frustrated by what it sees as the slow implementation of this pledge and is in no mood to yield any further to international pressure to make concessions.

Call for progress

Speaking after a meeting with Indian National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra, Mr Straw said tensions had eased, but agreed with India that more needed to be done.

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw
Mr Straw is visiting India and Pakistan for talks

"We are glad to note that progress has been made but further steps need to be taken for us to speak about an active dialogue," he was quoted as saying.

"A permanent end to infiltration is obviously very important," said Mr Straw, who travels to Islamabad on Saturday.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said in June that militant activity along the Line of Control that separates the two sides in Kashmir had been halted permanently.

But Ms Rao pointed to an incident earlier on Friday, when Indian troops killed five Islamic militants reportedly trying to cross into Indian-held territory.

This, she said, "only confirms what we have been saying about infiltration".

"(The international community) cannot expect us to take further steps even if it wants to see tensions reduced," Ms Rao was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying.

Diplomatic moves

India avoided blaming Pakistan directly for another attack last Saturday by suspected militants in Jammu, the winter capital of Kashmir, which left almost 30 Hindu civilians dead.

There has been a reduction of tension although the situation along the Line of Control remains difficult

Jack Straw
But Ms Rao was clear that Indian patience was now running out.

"Unless cross-border infiltration stops and infrastructure supporting infiltration is dismantled, we will not spell out any further de-escalatory steps," she said.

Pakistan insists that it does not arm the militants, but in Islamabad, Information Minister Nisar Memon said Pakistan would continue to support Kashmiris until they are free of Indian control.

"I want to tell the people of Kashmir that we will continue our moral, diplomatic and political support for them in their struggle to get liberation from the clutches of India," he was quoted as saying.

Mr Straw is to be followed next week by US Secretary of State Colin Powell, who is also trying to mediate a solution to the crisis in the region.

Some Indian papers have underlined the fact that Mr Straw's reception in Delhi has been cooler than when he came at the end of May.

This time, he is not seeing either the prime minister or deputy prime minister and there is no joint press conference.

Weapons row

Mr Straw is also under pressure at home, where he has been criticised by the British Parliament for failing to block arms sales to India and Pakistan.

Indian soldier in Kashmir
The two countries have come close to all-out war

A report in the lower house of the British Parliament said that rules preventing the export of arms should have been applied with "great vigour".

Mr Straw told the British Parliament in June that, although no licence applications from India and Pakistan had been blocked, he had not personally approved any in the previous two months.

But he later said that 148 licences had been issued for India and another 18 for Pakistan.

The report compiled by four House of Commons committees said the stand-off should have triggered clauses which forbade arms exports when there was a clear risk they could be used "aggressively against another country".

It said that if the stand-off was not serious enough to invoke the clause, then it was difficult to imagine what could, "short of all out war".

The BBC's Gillian Ni Cheallaigh
"Guidelines stipulate arms shouldn't be sold if there's a chance they could be used against another country"
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See also:

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