July 2000 News

Musharraf: Kashmiri, LTTE struggles cannot be equated

4 July 2000
The Hindustan Times
P.K. Balachanddran

Colombo: PAKISTAN''S MILITARY ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf has said that his country will continue to support the Sri Lankan government in its fight against the LTTE rebels. Gen Musharraf also said that the LTTE struggle could not be equated with the struggle of the Kashmiris. The state owned ''Daily News'' today quoted the General as saying: ''In Kashmir you find a clear dispute within the region, whereas the situation in Sri Lanka is quite different. The Sri Lankan issue is purely an internal conflict.'' Gen Musharraf went on to point out that while the Kashmir issue was before the United Nations and had been identified by the international community, the LTTE had no such recognition. Gen Musharraf justified Pakistani military support to the Sri Lankan government. ''Even India supported Sri Lanka militarily by sending troops where hundreds of Indian soldiers lost their lives in Sri Lankan soil. We did not go that extent, but why cannot we support Sri Lanka, another brother nation? We will continue to support Sri Lanka,'' the General said. The Pakistani Minister for Information and Advisor on National Afffairs, Mr Javed Jabbar, said that though the Sri Lankan conflict was purely an internal affair, it became a regional issue when a member country was affected. He said that Pakistan was closely watching the situation and would render any help that Sri Lanka might need and ''happily and willingly'' participate in any regional attempt to end the conflict.


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