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December 16, 2001
2355 IST

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Colin Powell asks India to exercise restraint

T V Parasuram in Washington

United States Secretary of State Colin Powell on Sunday virtually asked India to desist from a military response to terrorist camps across the border in the wake of the attack on Parliament and cautioned tension in Indo-Pak relations has the potential of 'becoming very dangerous'.

Powell told NBC television in Washington that the Indian government clearly has a legitimate right to self-defence 'but I think we have to be very careful on this because, if in the exercise of that right of self-defence, states are going to be at each other, it might create a much more difficult situation which could spiral out of control'.

"It is important to note Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf immediately condemned the attacks and is taking action against two organisations that have been tentatively identified as the ones which might have been responsible for this."

He said Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has made it clear that he is allowing some time in order to get a reaction from the Pakistani government.

PTI

Complete Coverage: The Attack on Parliament

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