March 2003 News

India Hails US, UK Statement On Infiltration

28 March 2003
The Daily Excelsior

New Delhi: India today welcomed the US-UK joint statement asking Pakistan to stop inflitration and terrorist violence in Jammu and Kashmir saying it repudiated Islamabad's claim that it has no responsibility in continued acts of violence in the State. The statement by US Secretary of State Colin Powell and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw 'is largely welcome', External Affairs Ministry Spokesman Navtej Sarna told reporters. 'We understand from the US and UK Governments that the statement was issued under instructions from President George W Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair who were meeting at Camp David,' he said. Apparently piqued by the strong attack by India on double standards in combating terrorism, Powell and Straw sent a tough message to Pakistan putting the onus on it to end cross border terrorism while strongly condemning the massacre of 24 'innocent civilians' in Kashmir on Sunday. 'Nothing can justify such a vicious and cowardly act,' the two leaders said. India in the last couple of days has been lashing out at some western countries without naming anyone on their double standards in fighting terrorism in the context of the US-led war on Iraq. 'Violence will not solve Kashmir's problems. Pending the resolution of these LoC should be strictly respected and Pakistan should fulfill its commitments to stop infiltration across it. Pakistan should also do its utmost to discourage any acts of violence by militants in Kashmir,'it said. Sarna said 'we welcome that the US and the UK recognise that Pakistan has not fulfilled the commitment made to the two countries in June last year to stop infiltration across the Line of Control. 'The assertion that it has no responsibility for violence in J and K. We hope that Pakistan would heed the advice proferred by stopping infiltration and by doing its utmost to cease all aid and abetment to terrorism in J and K and dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and in Pakistan,' he said. Asked about the two countries offering their good offices, the spokesman said the two sides had expressed themselves in a similar way. They have made it clear that there was no change in their policy, he said adding the countries have categorically ruled out any mediation between India and Pakistan on Kashmir. US and Britain have maintained that the Kashmir issue had to be resolved by India and Pakistan bilaterally. (PTI)


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