The Indian Defence Minister, George Fernandes, has indicated that the flare-up with Pakistan is at an end, by announcing that all infiltrators had withdrawn from Indian-held Kashmir. The minister said that the last of, what he called, the Pakistani intruders had vacated the territory and they were now searching for any landmines or booby traps they left behind. Pakistan has publicly maintained that the militants were autonomous freedom fighters against Indian rule in Kashmir.
The deadline set by India for Pakistani-backed forces to leave Indian Kashmir passed this morning without trouble. Pakistan admitted yesterday, for the first time, that its soldiers crossed into the Indian sector during the recent fighting. India has maintained throughout the dispute that its soldiers have been mainly fighting Pakistani troops, rather than militants.