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Saturday, 20 July, 2002, 14:26 GMT 15:26 UK
Straw Pakistan mission ends quietly
Indian soldier stands guard in Kashmir
Pakistan denies Indian claims of militant infiltration

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has ended a visit to Pakistan without any signs of real progress towards resolving tensions with India over disputed Kashmir.

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw
Mr Straw's visit to South Asia is coming to an end

Mr Straw failed to meet the Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf but said he thought the situation in the region was considerably better than when he was last there in May.

He said Britain wanted to see a permanent end to Pakistan-based militants infiltrating into the Kashmir valley.

He told journalists that he believed cases of cross-border infiltration had fallen since the height of the tension between the two nuclear-armed neighbours earlier this year.

Criticism rejected

Mr Straw said he had lengthy discussions on Kashmir with the Pakistani Foreign Minister, Inamul Haq, but added that the details must remain confidential.

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

Notably, Mr Straw failed to meet the Indian prime minister on his trip to Delhi on Friday and despite much uncertainty, eventually did not meet the Pakistani leader either.

Asked about criticism at home of his failure to block the issuing of arms licences to India and Pakistan at a time when conflict seemed to be looming, Mr Straw said he stood by his decision.

He added that he was clear that licensing of arms supplies to both countries had made no differences whatsoever to the level of tension in Kashmir.

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18 Jul 02 | South Asia
21 Jun 02 | South Asia
22 May 02 | South Asia
23 May 02 | South Asia
17 Jul 02 | South Asia
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