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Middle East

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India's foreign minister said Wednesday that Pakistan must take urgent steps to halt cross-border terrorism and rein in Islamic insurgents in Kashmir.

Jaswant Singh said that Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf had been given enough time to fulfill his pledges to halt terrorism by militants operating from Pakistani soil.

"It is vital that he recognizes the urgency of the situation," Singh told reporters at a joint news conference with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw. "India has waited patiently for the fulfillment of those commitments, which are vital for peace."

Musharraf, in a speech Monday night, said militant infiltration into Indian-controlled Kashmir had stopped. India called the comments "dangerous" and insists the guerrillas fighting for Indian Kashmir's independence or merger with Pakistan are as active as ever.

Straw was asked which side he believes.

"The testament of any statement is by actions and not by words," he responded. "The international community looks to press Musharraf to assure that this undertaking is fulfilled on the ground."

Earlier in the day, Straw told reporters that he reassured Singh and other Cabinet ministers that Britain condemns terrorism "in all its forms, including cross-border terrorism, and terrorism that is dressed up as `freedom fighters.'"

He was referring to India's long-standing claim that Pakistan sponsors the Islamic militants who have been waging the 12-year insurgency in Kashmir, which has claimed 60,000 lives.

"The United Kingdom stands four-square behind India in its fight against terrorism," Straw said.

Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars over the disputed Himalayan province



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