March 2000 News

US may appoint coordinator on Kashmir

14 March 2000
Dawn Karachi

London: The visit of US President Bill Clinton to South Asia may culminate in appointment of a special US coordinator on Kashmir, the London-based Indian newspaper The Asian Age reported on Tuesday. The paper said that the United States is likely to appoint a special coordinator on Kashmir after President Bill Clinton''s visit to the region. It said that the proposal for appointing coordinator on Kashmir had been under consideration by the US administration for the last several months now but is expected to be activated as a follow up to the presidential visit. ''This is a real possibility,'' the paper said quoting a diplomatic source, which also added that such an appointment would find support with the international community, Pakistan ''and the Kashmiris.'' It said that think tanks, advisers to the state department and senators have been advocating the appointment of a special coordinator for Kashmir. The All Parties Hurriyat Conference has been asking for a coordinator to be appointed either by the United Nations or the US. The paper said that the coordinator will not mediate but help ''facilitate'' a solution for Kashmir. It said that despite India''s protests, the US administration has kept Kashmir firmly on the agenda and President Clinton has again gone on record to describe ''the Indian subcontinent and the Line of Control in Kashmir'' as the ''most dangerous place in the world today.'' US assistant secretary of state Karl Inderfurth, who is among those to ensure a presidential visit to Pakistan, has said that he hopes the trip ''will in some fashion contribute to the effort that must be made to bring about a resolution of the tragedy in Kashmir.'' The paper quoted diplomatic observers as admitting that President Clinton would take some measures during is forthcoming visit to India and Pakistan to begin the process for peace and stability. The Asian Age said that the role of the coordinator is expected to extend over several administrations. ''There has been no assurance from Washington that the US President is sensitive to India''s reluctance to discuss Kashmir in any form during the five-day visit,'' the newspaper said. Adding ''Instead, it has been made clear by Washington itself that he remains very concerned about the issue and would like to see a quick solution.''


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