May 2002 News

Musharraf has not stopped terrorism in J&K: Powell

26 May 2002
The Daily Excelsior

Washington DC: Voicing unhappiness, the United States today said Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has not yet stopped cross-border infiltration across Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir despite his repeated assurances. Musharraf says he is doing everything possible he can to prevent terrorist actions in Kashmir and ''we are looking for evidence that the infiltration across the Line of Control has stopped,'' US Secretary of State Colin Powell told CNN. ''I am not satisfied that we have seen that yet but we are looking very closely,'' he said. Powell said Musharraf ''has given me a number of assurances, and he has given the world direct assurances again in recent days, and I have said to him in recent conversations it is not these assurances only that will count but the only thing that is really going to count is action across the Line of Control does stop. ''I hope he is doing everything to make sure that is the case.'' Pointing out that both India and Pakistan are nuclear-armed nations with huge conventional forces and a great deal of damage could be done if war breaks out, Powell said preventing that ''begins with stopping infiltration at the Line of Control. Musharraf again yesterday reaffirmed that he was taking action.'' He said Musharraf has to match the words he has been putting forth for the last few months with action. ''Now we have to watch and see whether that action (cross-border terrorism) will truly stop in a manner all of us can see, and especially the Indians can see.'' Meanwhile, the US today commended Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for acting in a statesman-like manner in the military stand-off with Pakistan and said it expects President Pervez Musharraf to live up to his January 12 speech and end cross-border terrorism. ''We expect President Musharraf to live up to the obligations he freely undertook on January 12 to stop cross-border infiltration across the Line of Control,'' said National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice, fresh from attending talks between US President George W Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Saying the US ''has every reason to believe President Musharraf is secure in his power, and a confident leader,'' she told Fox news that ''it is important that he uses that to defuse this crisis''. Rice said the US believe that the Indians undertook certain obligations that they would continue to act in a statesman- like manner ''and we have been pleased that thus far, Prime Minister Vajpayee has done exactly that. So we expect the two sides to act responsibly here.'' On the Pakistani Government’s decision to carry out the latest missile tests, she said ''we don’t see any point in it''. In fact, if they are routine, as the Pakistanis have said, the timing is not particularly good''. Pointing that the US has been involved in ''very aggressive diplomacy'' on the India-Pakistan issues, she said ''everyone is trying to remind both sides that war would not serve anyone’s interest and, indeed, it would be bad for the stability of the region as well. It would be very bad for Afghanistan''. ''We are talking to the Indians about the importance of calm, of not escalating this conflict. War is not going to serve anyone. There are very intensive and coordinated efforts right now between the United States, the European Union and now the Russians to try and calm this crisis,'' Rice said. Asked whether she is fearful that there is a real possibility of war, she said whenever you have two countries that have the history of Pakistan and India—it has been ''frankly a history of miscalculation and a history of hostility, you have to be concerned about escalating tensions over the last month or so, really tensions that began in December with the attack on the Indian Parliament. Therefore, of course everyone is concerned about the escalating tensions,'' she added.


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