India Says Pakistan Is a Rogue Nation That Supports Terror ; NUCLEAR ARMS Islamabad Deserves Place in America's `Axis of Evil' Says Delhi's Foreign Minister, as Row Grows over Iraqi Weapons Dossier

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INDIA'S FOREIGN minister yesterday branded Pakistan as a rogue state that should be included in President Bush's controversial "axis of evil", a declaration that constitutes a serious ratcheting up of the war of words between the new nuclear neighbours.

In the strongest language used by a senior Indian official against its neighbour, Jaswan Singh told The Independent that Pakistan had been caught red-handed proliferating nuclear bomb technology, exporting terrorism and trafficking drugs and was a sham democracy.

"While Bush may have the idea that there are three members of the axis of evil, one may conclude that one has been left out: Pakistan," he said in an interview in London.

Pakistan was continuing to promote terrorism over the Line of Control with Kashmir and India "will continue to fight with what might we have, the menaces of cross-border terrorism. Pakistan is a difficult country and we will have to deal with them".

As Mr Singh was attacking Pakistan, his counterpart in Islamabad was warning that Pakistan's military and nuclear weapons were meant for self-defence and to "deter Indian adventurism".

Pakistan's Foreign minister, Khursheed Mahmud Kasuri, maintained that there would be no change to the country's hardline stand on Kashmir.

American intelligence officials recently leaked details of a secret trade of nuclear bomb technology for long-range missiles between Pakistan and North Korea. According to CIA testimony to Congress, Pakistan sold technology and equipment to make highly enriched uranium for North Korea's secret nuclear bomb programme. In return, North Korea provided Pakistan's President General Pervez Musharraf with the missile technology he wants for the arms race with India.

The revelations, combined with electoral gains made by Islamic fundamentalists in Pakistan's recent elections, have strained Washington's relations with President Musharraf. …