HC Deb 21 October 2002 vol 391 cc35-6W
Norman Lamb

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what assessment he has made of the involvement of Pakistan's IST in terrorism in Kashmir; if he has raised with President Masharraf concerns with regard to ISI's alleged involvement in terrorism; and what reports he has received implicating Pakistan's IST in terrorism elsewhere than in Kashmir; [75485]

(2) what information he has received in the last three months indicating whether progress is being made in dismantling terrorist camps in Azad Kashmir administered by Pakistan; and if he will make a statement on Indian army allegations that the Pakistan army co-operates with terrorists infiltrating across the border into Kashmir. [75486]

Mr. Mike O'Brien

In his speech of 10 June to Parliament, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary referred to the link between ISID and certain terrorist organisations. We are encouraged by the banning of five such terrorist organisations in Pakistan. Our concerns about cross-border infiltration have been raised regularly with the Pakistanis, including during the Foreign Secretary's 19–20 July visit to Islamabad and when he met Pakistani Foreign Minister Inam ul-Haq on 16 September in the margins of the UN General Assembly. The Pakistanis have reassured us that President Musharraf's pledge that there will be no movement across the Line of Control still stands and the Pakistani Army are doing all they can to stop infiltration. A permanent end to cross-border infiltration and terrorism in Kashmir are critical to a sustained and substantive dialogue leading towards a lasting settlement of the Kashmir issue.

We welcome the recent announcements by both India and Pakistan of the phased withdrawal of a significant number of troops from the International Border. We hope that his will be followed by further de-escalatory steps and a resumption of dialogue.

We are aware of regular allegations of ISI involvement in Afghanistan.

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