November 2000 News

Pakistan must reciprocate truce, Inderfurth

30 November 2000
The Asian Age

New Delhi: The United States on thursday expressed the hope that Pakistan will respond positively to India''s announcement of an Unileteral ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir. The visiting US assistance secretary of state on South Asian Affairs, Mr Karl Inderfurth, said in New Delhi that some movement in addressing the ''tragic situation'' in the state might take place during the ceasefire. ''We hope that Pakistan will acknoweldge it and respond positively,'' said mr Inderfurth, who met foreign secretary Lalit Mansingh and other senior officials on Thursday. The US assistance secretary, who is completing his term early next year, is on a visit to the subcontinent. After spending two days in Sri lanka, Mr Inderfurth arrived in New Delhi on Wednesday and met external affairs minister Jaswant Singh. He said Washington hoped that New Delhi''s offer will lead to a dialogue with all the parties. On Indo-US relations, Mr Inderfurth said institutionalised dialogue, set in motion by President Mr Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, will be carried into the new administration. After Mr Vajpayee''s US visit, there have been several high-level interactions between the two countries. there have been meetings of the Joint Working Groups on counter terrorism and UN peacekeeping. The chief of the US Pacific Fleet and senior Pentagon officials were also in new Delhi recently. In the meeting with Indian officials. Mr Inderfurth also discussed the situation in Afghanistan at length. The two sides agreed that there was no military solution to the problem. The discussion took place in the backdrop of the visit of the UN special envoy on Afghanistan, Mr Francese Vendrell to New Delhi. Mr Vendrell, who came to Indiaq after holding talks with Russian leadership, discussed the situation with foreign secretary Mr Lalit Mansingh and additional secretary (Un) Mr Rangachari. In his talks with Indian officials, Mr Inderfurth concern over the Taliban support to terrorists. including Osma Bin laden. The US, he said, he is looking at a resolution to impose further sanctions on taliban and was discussing the issue with other nations, India has also supported the move to tighten sanctions on Afghanistan. The Un secretary Council had targeted the sanctions on taliban in the hope that they would expel Laden.


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