Tension reduces in Kashmir

As President Pervez Musharraf announces a series of measures to combat terrorism in the region, India hails the efforts made by its neighbour. The spectre of war thus disappears. Saturday’s speech by Pervez Musharraf marked a clear turning point in the growing tension between India and Pakistan. He announced a series of measures to adopt against Moslem extremists who operate from within Pakistan and carry out attacks inside India. 5 terrorist groups have been suppressed, among these the two named by India as being responsible for the terrorist attack on 13th December (Kashkar-i-Toiba and Jaish i-Mohammed). The response from India was given by Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh: We welcome the promise declared now to not support or allow terrorism to operate anywhere in the world, including the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir . Musharraf’s speech puts an end to years of implicit political support for the terrorist groups, sometimes with the covert aid of the Pakistani secret services. It basically spells the end for the Moslem extremists who intend to carry out acts of violence against India and it is the strongest position against these groups taken by a Pakistani Head of State, one which is not without internal political risks. From words, the Pakistani administration passed swiftly to actions. Kashmiri organisations offices were raided and closed all over the country while at least 900 people have been imprisoned, according to police sources, although these figures are said to be inaccurate by some Kashmiri sectarian claims, who state that the real figure is far higher. Most of those detained are members of the Sunnite Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan and the Shi ite Tehreek-i-Jafria Pakistan. Certain mosques and Koranic schools were placed under police observation. President Musharraf claims that among those detained are those responsible for some 400 murders inside Pakistan in the last year.