Tension Is Down, Says Armitage

New Delhi, June 7: | Updated: Jun 8 2002, 05:30am hrs
The US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage on Friday discussed with Indian leadership the possibilities and modalities of monitoring of Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir. Senior leaders, however, ruled out any mechanism involving American and British forces.

Mr Armitage, who flew into Delhi after discussions with President Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad, met Prime Minster Atal Bihari Vajpayee, external affairs minister Jaswant Singh and home minister LK Advani to discuss the Indo-Pak tensions, which according to him were a bit down on both sides.

After his 35-minute meeting with Mr Vajpayee, Mr Armitage told reporters, I did have discussions both here and in Islamabad about the possibilites and modalities of monitoring the LoC but no decision has been taken as yet.

In the backdrop of western media reports that Washington favoured a US-British military monitoring force to patrol the LoC, India made it clear that this would not be acceptable to it and that joint patrolling by Indian and Pakistani forces was the only practical mechanism. Armitage himself dismissed these reports as media speculation.