September 1999 News


Kargil posed greater threat to peace than earlier wars: Annan

9 September 1999
The Hindustan Times
By: Apratim Mukarji

NEW DELHI: The report of the United Nations Secretary-General on the work of the Organisation(1999), released today in New York, expresses serious concern over the "fragile" situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in his report under the subtitle Preventive diplomacy and peacemaking, "The recent upsurge of fighting along and across the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir, especially in the Kargil area, is a reminder of the fragility of the situation in this region."

"The process initiated in Lahore needs to be put back on track as there are serious grounds for concern," he adds, "not least because of the dangers of an unintended escalation in a sub-continent in which nuclear devices have been tested."

In effect, the report reflects the wider perception prevalent in the international community that the Kargil conflict signals a far larger threat to peace in the region than the previous India-Pakistan wars because both are now States with nuclear weapons(SWNW).

The emphasis on the resumption of the Lahore process vindicates the Indian stand while the rest of the formulation goes along with the international perception which Pakistan echoes happily since it reflects the internationalisation of the Kashmir issue.

The difference between the UN approach (dictated by the permanent five Security Council members) to the May 1998 Indian nuclear explosions and that to the Kargil conflict and thereafter is however, noteworthy.

The Security Council requested Secretary General Annan by its Resolution 1172 of June 5 1998 to report "urgently" to it "on the steps taken by the India and Pakistan" to implement the resolution which urged the two South Asian countries to resume their dialogue and encouraged them to solve all outstanding problems "including Kashmir".

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