- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 22, 2001

India yesterday announced it was recalling its ambassador from Pakistan and stopping train and bus services between the two countries in response to what it calls Pakistan's failure to act against terrorist groups responsible .
"Since the December 13 attack on Parliament, we have seen that no attempt on the part of Pakistan has been made to take action against organizations involved in the terrorist attack," said Nirupama Rao, India's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman.
As tension mounted between the two countries, Pakistan said it would not recall its ambassador from New Delhi, but warned of "appropriate" response to India's military buildup on the border with Pakistan.
The train service between Lahore in Pakistan and Amritsar in India and the bus service between New Delhi and Lahore will be stopped on Jan. 1, the Indian spokeswoman said.
India recalled its ambassador from Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, twice in the past in 1965 and in 1971, when war broke out between the two countries. Even during the 1999 Kargil conflict, which claimed the lives of more than 400 Indian soldiers, India did not recall its ambassador.
The Indian spokeswoman said India's top official in the Foreign Ministry, Chokila Iyer, had summoned Pakistan's envoy in New Delhi and listed India's demands a day after five armed intruders stormed the Parliament complex before being killed in a gunbattle.
"In view of the complete lack of concern on the part of Pakistan and its continued promotion of cross-border terrorism, the government of India has decided to recall its high commissioner [ambassador] in Islamabad," she said.
Analysts said the move did not come as a surprise, as New Delhi had said it would use diplomacy to pressure Pakistan before considering "other options."
Islamabad expressed concern about reports of Indian troop movement along its borders, and said the development would exacerbate the already-tense situation and oblige Pakistan to take appropriate countermeasures.
An Indian army spokesman, however, said New Delhi was only being cautious after "massive troop movement" across the border in Kashmir by Pakistan.
The Indian Army has started moving its strike formations comprising tanks and heavy artillery, army jeeps and medical vans closer to the border, the Indian Defense Ministry said.
The movement involves troops from central India, as well as other armored units, toward the border with Pakistan in the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.
Indian defense officials say Pakistan has deployed more than four divisions, about 100,000 troops, along the frontier of Jammu and Kashmir state.
On the Indian side, troops estimated to total nearly 400,000 have been on high alert all along the border with Pakistan.
This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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