April 2001 News

"The ceasefire is a hoax...There is no ceasefire in Kashmir"

7 April 2001
The Hindustan Times

Islamabad: PAKISTAN ON Friday dismissed an Indian invitation for talks to Kashmiri separatists as misleading and non-serious and accused it of seeking to impose a military solution in the disputed Himalayan region. India offered the talks on Thursday, but there was no sign it was any closer to agreeing to a resumption of the stalled dialogue with Pakistan, which it accuses of sponsoring the separatist insurgency in the part of Kashmir ruled by New Delhi. "The Indian government statement... demonstrates once again that India is not serious about a peaceful solution of the dispute and is refusing to address the basic requirements of a dialogue process," a Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesman said. "The statement shows that India is persisting in its effort aimed at imposing a military solution in Kashmir, avoiding meaningful talks and misleading world opinion," spokesman Riaz Mohammad Khan told reporters. India's peace move, its most significant after it launched a unilateral ceasefire four months ago, had been rejected by Kashmir's main separatist All Parties Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference (APHC) alliance and some guerrilla groups. Pakistan's military ruler General Pervez Musharraf called India's unilateral ceasefire in Kashmir a "hoax", an Indian news channel said on Friday. Musharraf was quoted by Zee News as saying in an interview. When asked by Zee News about the possibility of talks between India and Pakistan, Musharraf said the two neighbours had to address the issue of Kashmir first. "I don"t want to get into any euphoria on improving of relations without addressing the Kashmir issue," he was quoted as telling the channel. Islamabad wants New Delhi to resume peace talks between them with separatist Kashmiri leaders joining as a third party, but says that before that a Hurriyat delegation must be allowed to visit Pakistan for consultations. MAXIMUM RESTRAINT Spokesman Khan accused India of continuing a "terror campaign" in Kashmir even after announcing its truce in November, which has been extended three times and rejected by most of the guerrilla groups seeking independence or union with Pakistan. Pakistan responded to the truce first by declaring to exercise "maximum restraint" on a military control dividing Kashmir and later announcing a partial pullback of troops. "India must stop its repression in Kashmir, respond to Pakistan's restraint, resume meaningful dialogue with Pakistan with the participation of Kashmiri representatives and for this purpose allow APHC to visit Pakistan for consultation," Khan said. "If India genuinely seeks peace in Kashmir, as its professes to do, it should abandon its policy of violence and state terrorism against the Kashmiri people and massive violation of human rights..." he said. India rules about 45 percent and Pakistan just over a third of Kashmir, over which the two countries have fought two of their three wars since their independence from Britain in 1947. They also fought an undeclared war at Kargil in the icy northern heights of Indian-controlled Kashmir in the summer of 1999. India accuses Pakistan of arming and training separatist guerrillas in Kashmir, a charge Islamabad denies. In the TV interview, Musharraf denied that Pakistan was involved in the Kargil conflict. "We never participated... We didn"t cross the Line of Control (between Indian Kashmir and Pakistani Kashmir)," the statement quoted him as saying.


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