- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 16, 2001

NEW DELHI The Indian leadership yesterday issued its harshest rhetoric yet after the suicide terrorist attack on Parliament, accusing Pakistan of sponsoring the carnage and threatening to blast terrorist camps.
In Pakistan, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, the president, put the army on high alert, said India had no proof the attackers operated from or were supported by his country, and warned New Delhi against reprisals.
In the increasingly heated war of accusations, the Indian prime minister said Pakistan was "inspiring" terrorists, and Interior Minister L.K. Advani said the raid Thursday called for an "extraordinary" response.
"A neighboring country was inspiring the terrorists in carrying out subversive acts in India. The sponsors are destined to doom," Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee said during a university convocation.
Gen. Musharraf issued a warning to India.
"I would like to warn against any kind of precipitous action by the Indian government," he said.
"We will take action against anybody involved in Pakistan in these acts, if at all proved. We would not like Pakistani territory to be used against any country, including India," he said.
The five-man suicide attack killed seven persons in the Parliament compound, and the Indian government is under pressure from citizens and politicians alike to take tough military action against Pakistan.
India says the attackers were Islamic guerrillas from the Pakistan-based group Lashkar-e-Tayyaba. The government has demanded that Pakistan shut down Lashkar and Jaish-e-Mohammed, a second militant group also fighting for independence in the disputed Himalayan state of Kashmir.
The groups yesterday reiterated their non-involvement in the assault and claimed the government staged the attack to justify taking action against separatists in Kashmir.
Many Indian lawmakers, including some from Mr. Vajpayee's party, want the military to cross the frontier in Kashmir to carry out Israeli-style attacks on terror groups.
India routinely hits what it says are Pakistani army positions along the border in the Pakistan-controlled section of Kashmir, but the Indian defense minister, said stiffer action was needed now.
"It is no longer the issue of smashing camps. There is a much bigger issue that needs to be considered," Defense Minister George Fernandes told the private Star News channel.
In Kashmir the centerpiece and battleground of a violent separatist campaign that has raged since 1989 police arrested three men yesterday in the town of Sopore in connection with the Parliament attack, according to an intelligence official.
Police also seized 110 pounds of explosives hidden in a public bus in the state's violence-prone Anantnag district, the official said.

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