August 2002 News

US aware it has no role in J&K issue: Sinha

18 August 2002
The Times of India

RANCHI: External Affairs Minister Yaswant Sinha on Sunday said that Jammu and Kashmir was in focus as terrorism attracted international attention and the US had made it clear that there was no third party role in Kashmir issue. ''Terrorism in any place attracts the world... terrorist activity in Jammu and Kashmir is also attracting world attention'', Sinha told a gathering here. Stating that US Secretary of State Collin Powell clarified to him in Brunei that Washington had no intention of becoming a mediator between India and Pakistan, Sinha said ''Powell by saying Kashmir is on the international agenda meant that terrorism is the same worldwide''. ''The US says Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan... There is no third party role,'' Sinha said quoting his discussion with Powell in Brunei. The External Affairs Minister said that he made the Brunei foreign minister change the draft of his speech at the recent Asian Regional Forum security meeting, which contained some words not so favourable to India. ''During his address, he (Brunei foreign minister) changed the words after I had expressed my dissatisfaction with and included lines which asked Pakistan to stop cross-border terrorism,'' Sinha said. ''I passed my first examination in Brunei after taking the new assignment,'' Sinha said, apparently hinting at his critics who had raised doubts over his ability as the new external affairs minister having replaced Jaswant Singh.


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