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India Renews Pledge To Blair For Help In Anti-Terrorism Fight - 2001-10-06

British Prime Minister Tony Blair held discussions with Indian leaders in New Delhi Saturday as he concluded a three-nation tour to build support for the international campaign against terrorism.

British Prime Minister Blair told reporters in New Delhi that action to isolate the Taleban regime would continue until Osama bin Laden is brought to justice, and terror camps in Afghanistan closed down. He said the action would be proportionate and targeted, and will make full allowance for the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

"We prepared people for this action taking time because it must continue until the objectives are met," he said. "I don't think it would be sensible to try and put some time span on it at the present time, but I do repeat you our complete determination to make sure that it is successful."

After meeting Mr. Blair, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee said India stood fully behind the international drive against terrorism, but stressed that the issue of terrorism must be tackled globally in order to be effective.

New Delhi wants the international community to broaden the campaign against terrorism to include Kashmiri militant groups, and not be exclusively focused on Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network.

Mr. Vajpayee also made a veiled reference to India's rival Pakistan, which has been also drafted as an ally in the war against terrorism, but which is accused by New Delhi of supporting rather than fighting terrorism.

"Condoning a terrorist attack in one place may lay the foundation of a far more virulent act elsewhere," he said. "We discussed the sinister agenda behind the Srinagar bomb blast. Even while extending our wholehearted support to the pursuit of the guilty terrorists of September 11, we should not let countries pursue their own terrorist agenda elsewhere under cover of this actions."

Analysts say the high-profile visit by Mr. Blair will help address Indian concerns about terrorism.