India-Pakistan: February 7, 2002

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With 800,000 troops still concentrated on their common border, India and Pakistan are still ready for war. Some 50,000 Indian civilians have been evacuated from the border areas. But the war talk has died down. However, India says it will keep the troops on the border until Pakistan hands over 20 Kashmiri rebel leaders and tries to close its border to Kashmiri rebels based in Pakistan. Pakistan wants to discuss the Kashmiri situation and proposes arbitration. But India wants action on the terrorism first. In Kashmir, the rebels have been less active, which Indian police and troops have been more aggressive trying to root out rebels and their bases in remote areas and safe houses in built up areas. In Pakistan, police have arrested some of the men involved in the kidnapping of an American reporter. The ringleader of the kidnapping gang is a 29 year old British born man (Sheikh Omar) of Pakistani ancestry who has been active in the effort to run the Indians out of Kashmir and is still at large. The American reporter is thought to be still alive and held somewhere in Karachi. 

 

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