Britain ready to send troops to monitor LOC
7 June 2002
The Hindustan Times
London: Agreeing with India on infiltrations from across the border, Britain has said that it, along with America was ready to send troops to monitor the Line of Control dividing India and Pakistan. ''There has been a general discussion on the need to find a practical way of giving both sides reassurances, particularly India because there have been some infiltrations across the Line of Control and an international monitoring force could be suitable,'' Geoff Hoon, British Defence Secretary, said after a meeting of NATO defence ministers in Brussels. ''We''re willing to look at every option to give Pakistan and India a reason not to launch an attack against each other,'' Hoon said according to a report in The Times daily, here on Friday. The proposal, which is not expected to involve a large number of British troops, is the latest scheme aimed at trying to defuse the confrontation. India has until now rejected an international force and has suggested joint patrols along the Line of Control with Pakistani soldiers. According to a report in The Guardian, Hoon warned that British forces - already badly overstretched - would only be sent if their mission were clearly defined and they were not unduly exposed to danger.