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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 September, 2003, 06:31 GMT 07:31 UK
India derides 'obsessed' Pakistan
President Musharraf
Musharraf: Kashmir world's most dangerous dispute
India has derided Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's UN speech, saying he is "obsessing" about India.

General Musharraf accused India of refusing dialogue in Kashmir, calling it the world's most dangerous dispute.

Indian Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha said: "It is as if [Pakistanis] are wearing blinkers."

Both Indian and Pakistani leaders were at the UN for the General Assembly and talks with President George W Bush on his "war on terrorism".

General Musharraf repeated his call at the UN to India to join in a sustained dialogue to solve the Kashmir crisis, and urged a complete ceasefire along the Line of Control which divides the disputed territory.

It is as if they [Pakistan] are wearing such blinkers that they can only see India and nothing else in the world
Yashwant Sinha
Indian Foreign Minister

This was quickly rejected by India.

"What is Pakistan's right to talk about Jammu-Kashmir," said Mr Sinha.

Kashmir is an "inalienable part of India" and "nobody, absolutely nobody, can take an inch of that territory away from us," the Associated Press quoted him as saying.


In a separate reaction, Indian Deputy Premier LK Advani said he was disappointed that President Bush had not included India in a list of countries that had been victims of terrorism.

Bullet riddled wall in Indian-administered Kashmir
Musharraf called for a complete ceasefire in Kashmir
"I wish the world becomes acutely aware of the fact that for India, the Inter-Services Intelligence, a limb of the Pakistan state, is more dangerous than al-Qaeda and the Taleban," Mr Advani said.

Details of Mr Bush's separate talks with Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and President Musharraf were not immediately available, but correspondents said they were likely to have focused on terrorism and security, as well the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In his speech, General Musharraf also said India was pursuing a sustained military build-up that threatened to destabilise the balance of power in South Asia.

"Those powers which desire peace, stability and security in South Asia... must review their decisions to offer such strategic weapons systems to India," he said.


On Iraq, President Musharraf said he would be willing to commit troops if they were part of a United Nations-backed force including other Muslim nations.

What UN are you talking about? I don't think it can play any role in Iraq
Ahmad Farooq, Pakistan

Speaking after talks with President Bush on the sidelines of the General Assembly, General Musharraf said it was vital that any such force was not viewed as part of the US-led occupation.

The Bush administration has been trying to win support from Muslim countries for its presence in Iraq - however, there was strong opposition from the Muslim world for the initial invasion and this resistance has largely remained.

General Musharraf urged the West not to demonise Muslims.

"The West perceives the Islamic world as volatile and hostile, bent upon striking at Western values," he said.

"Islam must not be confused with the narrow vision of a handful of extremists."

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