- NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee
vowed on Sunday to crush terrorism, saying there had been no change on
the ground in rebellion-torn Kashmir despite Pakistan's promise to crack
down on Islamic militants.
- His comments came as police in Indian-ruled
Kashmir reported attacks from suspected Muslim militants and an exchange
of fire between Indian and Pakistani forces.
- Vajpayee, who has ordered the biggest
military build-up in decades along the border with Pakistan, said terrorism
directed against India will not be tolerated.
- ``To make us a target of terrorism, and
we do not give an appropriate response, that is not possible,'' he said,
a day after Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf had called for talks between
the two countries to end their military standoff.
- ``We will uproot terrorism from our soil,''
Vajpayee said in a speech to the National Cadet Corps, where school students
are given basic military training.
- India, incensed by an attack on its parliament
last month which it blamed on Pakistan-based guerrillas, has said Islamabad
must cut off support to rebels fighting its rule in Kashmir before a de-escalation
could take place on the border.
- The two countries have fought two of
their three wars since independence in 1947 over the disputed region.
- ``We are faced with the challenge of
terrorism from outside, and from within the country, we have to defend
our internal security, we have to make our borders inviolable,'' Vajpayee
- India's hard-line Home (interior) Minister
Lal Krishna Advani said he had not seen any change in Kashmir since Musharraf's
landmark speech on January 12 denouncing terrorism in all its forms.
- ``It has been 15 days now, we have not
seen any evidence on the ground so far as India is concerned and so far
as Jammu and Kashmir is concerned,'' he told Star Television network.
- Musharraf, greeting Vajpayee on India's
Republic Day anniversary on Saturday, said Pakistan was ready to begin
a serious and sustained dialogue with its giant neighbor to defuse tensions
along their border, stretching from Kashmir to the Arabian Sea.
- Police in Indian-ruled Jammu and Kashmir
said five security personnel were wounded when suspected Muslim militants
attacked an Indian paramilitary camp.
- In a separate attack, rebels raided a
policeman's house in the territory, killing his wife and son, they said.
- The police said a civilian was killed
when Pakistani forces fired on Indian posts on the international border
in the Ramgarh sector, 40 miles from Jammu, the winter capital of Indian-ruled
- In another incident, they said four people,
including two Indian soldiers, were injured by mortar and machine gun fire
from Pakistan's troops in the Nowshahra sector, 110 miles from Jammu.
- The Indian and Pakistani armies exchange
mortar and small arms fire almost daily in Kashmir.
- DEMAND TO END SUPPORT
- New Delhi has specifically demanded that
Islamabad make good its promise to crack down on Islamic militancy by closing
off the routes along which guerrillas enter Kashmir from Pakistan and hand
over 20 men it accuses of carrying out terrorists acts.
- ``Handing over of those 20 would be an
instant thing, that's not been done, not only not been done, there have
been a number of contradictory statements,'' Advani said.
- Pakistan has detained hundreds of religious
extremists, shut down their offices and denounced terrorism in all its
forms. It has said it will not return any Pakistani nationals sought by
India but has been less adamant about the Indians on the list.
- The Times of India reported on Sunday
that guerrilla activity on the military control line dividing Kashmir between
the two nuclear rivals had gone up in January compared with same month
in the last two years.
- There was no reported infiltration of
militants into India's side of Kashmir in January 2000 and 2001, but 14
guerrillas had died in the current while trying to cross from Pakistan.
- The newspaper did not give figures on
whether there had been any change in infiltration patterns in Kashmir since
Musharraf's speech this month in which he banned five Islamic groups, including
two operating in Kashmir.
- More than 30,000 people have died since
a revolt erupted in Muslim-majority Kashmir in late 1989. Separatists put
the toll closer to 80,000.
- India controls about 45 percent of Kashmir,
Pakistan holds just over a third and China the rest.