The US condemnation of the armed attack on the Indian Parliament, and President George W. Bush's freezing of the assets of the Pakistan-based group Lashkar-e-Taiba have raised speculation about whether Washington will play a wider role in the five-decade-long conflict. The war against Osama bin Laden, his al-Qaeda network and the Taleban has highlighted the Kashmir conflict. Numerous Pakistanis who crossed into Afghanistan to fight alongside the Taleban had also fought in Kashmir. It has been long known that Kashmiri militants trained in Afghanistan and received weapons from there. Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf's backing of the US in its objectives in Afghanistan and permission for it to use its airspace for the bombing raids have put him in a delicate situation over Kashmir. He cannot support the US while continuing to back Kashmiri militant groups. The US, too, is caught in a dilemma. It needs Pakistani support for its military campaign in Afghanistan and cannot come down too hard on General Musharraf. Hence Mr Bush's careful description this week of the Lashkar-e-Taiba as a 'stateless sponsor of terrorism' which has carried out acts in both India and Pakistan. If the US campaign against terrorism is to succeed, then action must be taken to stop all countries supporting all terrorist groups without exception. And a simple definition of terrorism must be used to decide when to take action: any organisation that uses violence to achieve political aims is a terrorist group.