September 2002 News

Bush rejects freedom-fight tag to Kashmir violence

12 September 2002
The Statesman

New York: President George Bush today rejecting Pakistan’s description of terrorist violence in J&K as freedom struggle, and said the US would use its “leverage” with Islamabad to make it desist from incursions and cross-border terrorism to ensure peaceful conduct of polls in the state. During his 35-minute meeting with Prime Minister Mr Vajpayee here, Mr Bush said the US “is wholly conscious of the need to continue to pressure Gen. Musharraf to desist from recourse to incursions across the LoC and violence, especially during the elections in J&K”. A similar assurance was given by US National Security Advisor Ms Condoleezza Rice to Mr Brajesh Mishra at a separate luncheon meeting today. Foreign secretary Mr Kanwal Sibal said: “the message came through very clearly and we did not really need to make a case. The events of the last two or three days speak for themselves.” Earlier in Chicago, Gen. Musharraf accused India of raising its stockpile of conventional weapons in a move that could jeopardise regional power balances. “The visible tilt in conven- tional arms balance between India and Pakistan has dangerous portents and must be checked,” he said. On the J&K polls, the general said: “Such elections under Indian occupation will not help peace... the people of J&K must be allowed to exercise their right to determine their future in accordance with the UN Security Council’s resolutions.” India, too, promptly dismissed the statements calling them a “litany of false allegations” intended to incite further violence in J&K: “Gen. Musharraf’s speech amounts to instigating more violence by terrorist groups operating with Pakistan’s support in J&K,” MEA spokesperson Mrs Nirupama Rao said. But the general continued with his war of words, and, in an apparent reference to India said the terrorist attacks on Western targets inside Pakistan were “abetted” by an “intelligence organisation in a neighbouring country”. Referring to the “massacre” of Muslims in Gujarat “with the complicity of state BJP leaders”, he said: “The world community must act to oppose Hindu extremism with the same determination it displayed in fighting terrorism, religious bigotry and fascist tendencies elsewhere.... As Hindu fundamentalism rises in India, Pakistan is waging a successful struggle to restore its traditions of a tolerant Islam.”


Return to the Archives 2002 Index Page

Return to Home Page