October 2000 News

J&K talks not possible under shadow of gun: US

4 October 2000
The Times of India

Washington DC: Pointing out that terrorist violence in Jammu and Kashmir has increased, the US has asserted that talks between India and Pakistan can never be productive ''when a gun is being held to the head of the other party''. ''There is no question that there is incompatibility between continued violence in Kashmir and dialogue,'' US Assistant Secretary of State Karl Inderfurth said in an interview to Voice of America, which has been put on the USIS website. Stating that while Indo-Pak dialogue is absolutely essential for finding a solution (to the Kashmir issue) acceptable to both the countries, Inderfurthsaid rejection of violence means that there is no military solution to the problem. Maintaining that violence has increased in the Valley, he said, ''The first place to begin is to lower the level of violence so that there can be an environment in which talks could be productive. Talks are never productive when a gun is being held to the head of the other party.'' He said the US believed that on both sides there are those who want to see the peace process to begin but there are also those who do not want to see it start. He identified those who do not want the peace process to begin as variousmilitant groups and those ''who cannot see the future and are only tied to the past.'' Calling for flexibility on the part of India and Pakistan for a resolution of the problem, Inderfurth said, ''Both sides will have to recognise that whatever agreement is reached, it must be acceptable to both New Delhi and Islamabad and vice versa''.


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