Advani Tells Blackwill About India Talks' Stand
26 March 2003
The Asian Age
New Delhi: United States ambassador to India Robert Blackwill on Wednesday met deputy prime minister L.K. Advani and is understood to have discussed the Iraq crisis and expressed his concern over the massacre of 24 Kashmiri pandits in Jammu and Kashmir. Mr Blackwill was earlier scheduled to meet Mr Advani on Monday, but the meeting did not take place. During the meeting that lasted 30 minutes, the US ambassador is reported to have apprised the deputy prime minister about the progress being made by the allied forces in Iraq. Mr Blackwill, expressing satisfaction over the government of India's stand on the issue, reportedly assured Mr Advani that all efforts were being made by the US-led forces to keep the civilians casualties at minimum. Sources said that the deputy prime minister expressed his government's concern over the recent White House statement asking India to begin dialogue with Pakistan. Mr Advani, sources said, tried to impress upon the US envoy that Pakistan was no different from the countries that come in the list of rogue states of the United States. The deputy prime minister and the government of India have for long been demanding that United States acknowledge Pakistan as the principal hub of international terrorism. Sources said that more than Mr Blackwill, who had gone to see the deputy prime minister, it was Mr Advani who did the talking. Mr Advani also pointed out that the latest White House statement completely ignored the role that Pakistan was playing genocide in Kashmir and exporting terror.