October 2001 News

Pak shouldn''t be allowed free hand in J&K: NYT

17 October 2001
The Times of India

NEW YORK: Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf should not be allowed to have a ''free hand'' in supporting militants in Kashmir because of his backing to US-led campaign against Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan, leading American daily the New York Times on Wednesday cautioned while urging Washington to get more ''deeply involved'' to settle the Kashmir problem.American support to Pakistan in campaign against terrorists and Taliban in Afghanistan does not mean that Musharraf should be given a free hand to support Islamic fundamentalist extremists in Kashmir, the New York Times said in an editorial.''Pakistan needs to stop supporting guerrilla fighters'' in Kashmir, it said.Stating that the Bush administration has no choice but to get more deeply involved on a host of regional issues, including Kashmir, the paper said, ''India (also) must understand that it cannot crush Muslim aspirations in Kashmir with force''. Washington, the editorial said, should press India and Pakistan to lower nuclear tensions. The Clinton administration made significant progress in getting the two countries to agree to end nuclear testing, curb the production of weapons material. That effort must be continued, it added.President George W Bush, it recalled, came into office determined to keep his distance from foreign conflicts that did not directly threaten American interests. He probably would have put the strains between India and Pakistan in that category before September 11. Now, with American forces attacking Afghanistan, US will have to be very much involved in maintaining the peace between these two old adversaries, the Times said.


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