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Pakistan to Counter Indian Troop Movements But Will Not Recall Ambassador - 2001-12-21

Pakistan says it will counter what it calls big Indian troop movements along the border. But the Pakistani government says it will not retaliate against New Delhi's decision to recall its ambassador in Islamabad.

In a statement issued Friday, Pakistan Foreign Ministry says it is deeply concerned over what it calls massive troop movements by India along the border (in the Sindh-Rajasthan Sector, in the Chenab-Ravi corridor) and on the military line of control dividing the disputed Kashmir region.

The statement says such actions would aggravate an already tense situation in the region and Pakistan will be obliged to take, what it termed: "all appropriate counter measures." India says the military movement is a precautionary measure and a reaction to what it says is a large mobilization of Pakistani forces near the border.

Tension between the two nations has increased after last week's terrorist attack on India's parliament building. New Delhi blames two Pakistan-based Islamic militant groups. The attack claimed 14 lives, including the five attackers.

Foreign Ministry spokesman, Aziz Khan, says his country regrets an Indian decision to recall its ambassador to Islamabad and stop all bus and train services between the two nations beginning next month.

"Pakistan does not intend to respond in kind. Indeed the government of Pakistan feels that in the prevailing tense situation it is all the more important to keep all channels of communication open. The government of Pakistan also regrets the Indian decision to terminate the rail and bus services with Pakistan," he said.

India says it is recalling its ambassador to Islamabad and terminating road and rail services because of what it calls Pakistan's continuing support of cross-border terrorism. New Delhi is demanding that Pakistan disband the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad guerilla groups and arrest their leaders for involvement in the attack on the Indian parliament. The militant organizations have denied the allegations.

India accuses Pakistan of arming and training more than a dozen groups fighting Indian rule in Kashmir. Pakistan denies the charge saying it only provides moral support to what it calls "freedom fighters" in the region.