March 2000 News

Kashmir Issue: Annan Renews Mediation Offer

3 March 2000
The Dawn

United Nations: Pakistan''s permanent representative to the United Nations, Shamshad Ahmad, Friday told the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, that nuclearization of South Asia had added new urgency for the early resolution of Kashmir dispute. Mr Ahmad, who presented his credentials to Mr Annan on Friday afternoon, also renewed Pakistan''s request for appointment of a special UN envoy for the region as Indian troops continued to violate the Line of Control at the Jammu and Kashmir border. He also drew the UN chief''s attention to killings of 14 civilians by Indian infiltrators inside the Azad Kashmir. Saying that India''s vilification campaign against Pakistan has taken ominous tone, the envoy referred to recent statements by Indian leaders and army chief about the possibility of a limited war with Pakistan. Mr Ahmad said that Pakistan wanted peaceful resolution of the dispute as mandated by the UN resolutions which called for plebiscite, recognizing the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people. The UN chief renewed his offer for mediation provided both India and Pakistan agreed. Last year Mr Annan had sent his special envoy, Assistant Secretary General Alvaro Desoto, to the region, but India refused to issue him a visa to meet with Indian leaders. While Pakistan has accepted the offer of mediation from President Clinton and the UN, India has consistently rejected any third party mediation saying that Kashmir issue can only be settled through bilateral talks. The envoy also reaffirmed Pakistan''s commitment to the UN charter.


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