August 2000 News

Pakistan Sabotaged Peace Process: Panja

20 August 2000
The Hindu

Hanover: The Minister of State for External Affairs, Mr. Ajit Panja, has held Pakistan responsible for ''sabotaging'' the peace process in Kashmir and said India had given the U.S. ''cogent and specific evidence'' on Islamabad''s involvement in terrorist activities. ''The calling off of the ceasefire by the Hizbu leader, Salahuddin, from Islamabad is a direct evidence of Pakistan sabotaging the peace process,'' Mr. Panja told PTI here. Mr. Panja, who was here to participate in the ''India Day'' celebrations early this week at the Expo 2000, a five-month long world exposition, condemned as ''acts of cowardice'' the killing of innocent people by militants in Jammu and Kashmir. ''We are for peace including with Pakistan,'' said Mr. Panja and added that consensus and not confrontation should be the guiding factor for foreign policy in the new millennium. To a question on whether the U.S. could be involved in finding a solution to the thorny issues between India and Pakistan, Mr. Panja said Washington has ''repeatedly rejected third party mediation''.


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