June 2002 News

Diplomacy has eased crisis in Kashmir: Straw

10 June 2002
The Times of India

London: The India-Pakistan border crisis has eased slightly following new diplomatic efforts, the UK said on Monday, but the threat of further conflict between the two nuclear-armed nations has not disappeared. ''Notwithstanding the more hopeful signs, the situation in the region remains dangerous,'' Foreign Secretary Jack Straw told the House of Commons. India reopened its airspace to Pakistani aircraft on Monday in what was seen as a limited bid to ease tensions over the disputed Kasmir region. Straw told the Commons that Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh had told him in the morning that India also was going to make public the name of a new ambassador to Pakistan, but Indian officials declined to confirm that. Straw also told the Commons that India''s navy was moving warships back to port now that both sides had taken the ''first steps in the right direction.'' But an Indian navy spokesman, Cmdr. Rahul Gupta, said the five warships, which had been dispatched to the area closer to Pakistan, were not being sent back to India''s eastern waters. ''The position is still precarious,'' Straw told Parliament. ''Terrorism is still a threat. The situation will continue to require the engagement of the international community for some time. ''The problems between India and Pakistan cannot satisfactorily be resolved by military means,'' he said. ''This would only lead to more suffering, and potentially devastating consequences for everyone. Britain will help in U.S.-led efforts to ensure peace, he added.


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