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Thursday, 28 November, 2002, 16:36 GMT
Pakistan 'pulls back troops'
Pakistan position in Kashmir
Deployment along the frontline in Kashmir continues
Pakistan says it has moved troops from some areas on the border with India in response to similar moves by Delhi.


We have moved some troops to peacetime locations

Military spokesman General Rashid Qureshi
Military spokesman General Rashid Qureshi said that troops had been moved "from those areas where India no longer poses a threat to us".

The two countries massed about a million troops along their common border and the frontline in the disputed territory of Kashmir when tensions rose following an attack on the Indian parliament last December.

There was great international concern that the two nuclear-capable powers might go to war.

Phased pullback

General Qureshi made clear that Pakistani troops would remain in areas where the Indian army is still deployed and "where the threat still exists".

"We had already indicated that the moment the threat from India recedes, and as India withdraws troops, Pakistan would reciprocate," he said.

On Wednesday, India's Defence Minister, George Fernandes, acknowledged that Pakistan had pulled some troops back to peace-time positions.

"However, the strategic reserves of the Pakistan army continue to be located in the operational location," he said in a written parliamentary answer.

India announced last month that it had begun the process of withdrawing troops from the common border, but Pakistan said that it wanted proof before it began its own pull-back.

Dialogue

Earlier this month, India said the pull-back process would be complete by the end of December.

It is not clear how many troops the two countries still have on their border.

Pakistan has called on India to start a dialogue over the disputed region of Kashmir.

But India says Pakistan is not doing enough to curb attacks by Islamic militants fighting Indian rule in Kashmir.

The territory has been at the centre of two wars between India and Pakistan since 1947.

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29 Oct 02 | South Asia
28 Oct 02 | South Asia
04 Oct 02 | South Asia
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