November 22, 2002

India Delays Announcement of Response to Pakistan

Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee called meetings of the cabinet committee on security and opposition leaders on Sunday to decide the country's response to Pakistani moves against Islamic militants.

An official said the government would formally react to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's promise to crack down on groups suspected of violence against India, after consultations with opposition groups.

An Indian Foreign Ministry briefing scheduled for noon (0630 GMT) has been postponed to 1:30 p.m., the official said.

India's military has completed its biggest deployment ever along the length of the border with its nuclear rival to pressure Islamabad to end what it calls "cross-order terrorism" after a December raid on the Indian parliament blamed on two Pakistan-based militant groups.

Analysts said that while there were some positive elements in Musharraf's speech on Saturday, the bottom line was that India would keep its army mobilised until it was convinced Musharraf would match words with action.

Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh, Defence Minister George Fernandes, Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha and National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra were at the informal meeting of the cabinet security committee at Vajpayee's home, an aide said.

That meeting is to be followed by consultations with opposition heads including Sonia Gandhi, the chief of the main opposition Congress party.

(China Daily January 13, 2002)

In This Series
Musharraf Addresses the Nation

Pakistan to Defuse India Tensions With new Policy



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