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British defence chief backs India's case on infiltration

September 24, 2003 19:41 IST

Ahead of his tour of the Line of Control on Friday, visiting British Chief of Defence Staff General Michael Walker on Wednesday agreed with India's assessment that infiltration into Jammu and Kashmir continues unabated.

"That seems to the case," he said after a 30-minute meeting with Defence Minister George Fernandes. Walker will be visiting the LoC in the Uri sector in north Kashmir to assess the situation.

Though a number of top American and French Generals have toured the LoC, the British chief of defence staff would be the first head of any foreign armed force to visit the LoC.

His visit assumes significance in the wake of increased shelling by Pakistani troops in recent times. According to official figures, there have been as many as 216 infiltration attempts since January this year with over 131 terrorists, mostly Pakistani mercenaries, killed on the LoC itself.

Incidentally, after his Friday visit, Walker would be among the few to have visited the LoC from both the sides having visited it on the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir side three months ago.

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