October 2001 News

US recognises Kashmir terrorism, says Blackwill

18 October 2001
The Pioneer

New Delhi: The United States clearly recognises that the problem of terrorism in Kashmir is part of the global war against the menace and that it must be rooted out but feels a ''calendar'' cannot be set for it.Washington also rules out becoming a mediator between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue which will be discussed with India and Secretary of State Colin Powell during his visit here shortly. ''Terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir is exactly kind of terrorism that must be condemned and must be rooted out. War against terrorism must include terrorism against India,'' US Ambassador Robert D Blackwill said during an interview. In the wide-ranging interaction, the envoy spoke about the ''quantum advance'' in Indo-US relations, especially after the September 11 terrorist strikes in the US, the evolving scenario in Afghanistan and US-Pak relations. Citing the speeches made by President George W Bush and Powell, Blackwill said ''there are no exceptions with respect to countries that harbour terrorism. There are no exceptions to terrorism as it exists in camps funded, trained and so forth. We will accept no nation that harbours terrorism. ''You might want a calendar..... But we are now concentrating on Pakistan''s contribution to the war against terrorism which is substantial,'' he said when asked about US''s ''reticence'' about acknowledging Pakistan''s role in sponsoring terrorism in J&K He said at this juncture US was concentrating on the military action in Afghanistan. ''There are many elements of this policy and we are acting simultaneously,'' he said adding ''you should not expose every piece of one''s strategy.'' On Powell''s upcoming visit expected early next week, he said the secretary of state would be meeting Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and other senior leaders in the Government in an obvious boost to Indo-US relationship.He would discuss mutual relations, international war against terrorism and the situation in Afghanistan. Since he would probably be coming from Islamabad, the US-Pakistan relationship and the Kashmir issue would come up.


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