July 2002 News

India hasn''t sought US help: MEA

22 July 2002
The Pioneer

New Delhi: India has asserted that it had not sought the assistance of the United States or any other foreign power to persuade separatist groups, including the Hurriyat, to participate in the forthcoming assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir. Commenting on the visit of a US diplomats'' team to the Kashmir valley, an external affairs ministry spokesperson said on Monday, ''neither have we solicited their help, nor has the US offered us any advice on this issue.'' The spokesperson was commenting on the trip of the US team that visited the Kashmir valley and met leaders of the separatist groups and appealed to them to take part in the electoral process. The spokesperson said the visit of delegations of foreign diplomats, like the US team, could not be seen as an interference in India''s internal affairs. ''All sections of political affiliations and opinion in Jammu and Kashmir are free to participate in the democratic exercise, provided they don''t espouse any anti-national cause,'' the MEA spokesperson said.


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