Downing Street applauds Pakistan pledge on anti-terror

Downing Street has applauded Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's condemnation of terrorist groups in his country.

Downing Street has applauded Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's condemnation of terrorist groups in his country.

In a major televised national address, General Musharraf banned two Kashmiri extremist groups linked to a terrorist attack on the New Delhi parliament last month and condemns the Kalashnikov culture which is rife in his country.

He denounced Islamic extremism and warned no terrorist activity must take place in the name of Kashmir.

The attack on December 13, linked to the extremist groups Jaish-e-Muhammad and Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, claimed the lives of 14 people, including five terrorists.

It led to a major build-up of troops on the border between the two nuclear powers in the disputed state of Kashmir.

Last week British Prime Minister Tony Blair, on a visit to south Asia, said he hoped his government could provide a "calming influence" in the region.

Mr Blair's spokesman said General Musharraf had been "courageous" in his defence of moderate Islam.

"We welcome President Musharraf's outright condemnation and rejection of terrorism in all its forms and his pledge to deal very firmly with anyone committing terrorist acts from inside Pakistan.

"We applaud his courageous and forceful defence of a tolerant and moderate Islam and condemnation of all forms of sectarianism and religious hatred.

"And we welcome President Musharraf's clear appeal for a normalisation of relations with India and the resolution of differences over Kashmir through peaceful means and dialogue. We hope that India will respond positively to that message and to the banning of the two Kashmir separatist groups suspected of links to the December attack on the Parliament building in New Delhi."

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