May 2003 News

US, Britain Determined To Discipline Pakistan: Blair

31 May 2003
The Hindustan Times

St Petersburg: The US and Britain are putting pressure on Pakistan so that it stops promoting terrorism against India and comes down hard on fundamentalist forces, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said on Saturday. Blair conveyed this to Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee during a 30-minute meeting they had at a newly built dacha on the sidelines of the 300th anniversary celebrations of this Russian city, official sources said. Blair told Vajpayee that Washington had realised that it was necessary to take measures so that fundamentalist forces in Pakistan did not gain strength and destabilised the country. 'Blair spent a little time telling us that America is putting pressure on Pakistan,' an Indian source said here. 'This is part of a bigger American venture that involves the future of Pakistan so that Pakistan can avoid being taken over by fundamentalists.' Blair added that Britain would also 'keep up maximum pressure on Pakistan and keep reinforcing the message' that it should stop helping militants who cross over to Jammu and Kashmir to fight Indian security forces, the Indian source said. India accuses Pakistan of arming and training separatist guerrillas fighting to secede Jammu and Kashmir. The separatist campaign has left some 40,000 people dead since 1989.


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