U.S. must clarify position, says Shabir Shah
4 December 2002
Our Staff Reporter
Jammu: The chief of the Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party, Shabir Shah, today asked the United States to clarify its stand on Jammu and Kashmir. He told The Hindu here today that the U.S. Ambassador, Robert Blackwill, during his visit to the State had come up with certain statements which contradicted the policy of the United States. ''In the unipolar polity, the U.S. is the only super power and it definitely has a great role to play in the context of the resolution of the problem of Jammu and Kashmir.''He added that the U.S. played a significant and a very important role in the early nineties in highlighting the issue at the world level. In the future too, it was hoped that it would play a positive role in facilitating a dialogue to resolve the Kashmir problem. He, however, cautioned that the statements of Mr. Blackwill had given the impression that the U.S. was ignoring the ground realities in the State. He was not raising objection to the fact that Mr. Blackwill did not meet him or any other separatist leader. ''But it is definitely a much changed position of the United States, which has said time and again that the State is a disputed territory and also asked India and Pakistan to realise the urgency of solving this problem.'' Reiterating his demand for a tripartite dialogue, Mr. Shah said political parties were not showing seriousness in finding a solution to the problems of the people of the State. A dialogue involving India, Pakistan and people of the State must begin immediately. About the new Government led by Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, he said the Government''s stand that there was need for talks with the people of all three regions of the State was all right. ''But I hope he sticks to his stand and does not move away from it.'' Mr. Shah, who visited the Raghunath Temple, condemned the recent terrorist attack. He said there was an attempt by some people to drive a wedge between communities. ''The people who are doing these heinous acts are enemies of all religions, including Islam.''