Pak won''t start war over Kashmir, says Mush
14 October 2002
The Times of India
Islamabad: Pakistan won''t launch a war over Kashmir, President Pervez Musharraf told fellow leaders at the 10-member Economic Cooperation Organisation here on Monday, Anatolia news agency reported. Pakistan ''won''t be the one to start a war'' over the Kashmir region over which both Pakistan and India claim sovereignty, the news agency quoted him as saying. ''But if they start a war, we will defend ourselves vigorously and with determination,'' he added. Musharraf accused India of amassing one million troops along its border with Pakistan. Kashmir, divided between India and Pakistan, has been at the center of two of the three wars between the nuclear-armed rivals since their independence in 1947 from Britain. Tensions between the two South Asian states were sent spiralling last December when militants allegedly sponsored by Pakistan attacked the Indian Parliament. Since then, India and Pakistan have between them deployed nearly one million troops on a war footing along their international border and across the Line of Control, the de facto border dividing the rivals in Kashmir. Formed in 1985 by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey, the ECO now comprises the Muslim non-Arab countries west of India, including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The member countries have a combined population of more than 300 million and rich gas and oil resources.