June 2003 News

Pak For UN Peacekeeping Force In Kashmir

6 June 2003
The Times of India

London: Rejecting Indian demand that activities of jehadi groups in PoK should be reined before resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue, Pakistan on Friday asked India to agree to a UN-controlled peacekeeping force in Kashmir to deal with terrorism. 'If you think we are encouraging infiltrators into Kashmir, why don't you agree to a UN-controlled peacekeeping force jointly patrolling under the UN auspices,' Pakistan's Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat said. Participating in the BBC World's weekly programme 'Question Time Pakistan' broadcast on Friday, Hayat claimed that none of the jehadi organisations were working in Pakistan. 'We do not allow jehadi organisations in Pakistan. They (India) have mentioned a few organisations (that they say) are working in Kashmir, over which Pakistan has no control. We have already told them (the Indian Government) to give us evidence.' He disagreed with New Delhi's expectation that activties of jehadi groups in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir should be curbed before any dialogue between the two nations could begin. Answering a question on Sharia law, Hayat criticised the introduction of Sharia law in its present form in the North West Frontier Province. He attacked the provincial government there, led by the Mutahida Majlis-e-Amal alliance of six religious parties. 'If we follow their brand of politics, if we follow their brand of Islam, their brand of religion, (it) will be leading us once again towards the Talibanisation of Pakistan,' he stated. Government officials in the province have been directed to say prayers or face strict disciplinary action. Commenting on that, Hayat said: 'Whatever the MMA has announced in NWFP is absolutely and totally repugnant to the spirit of Islam. Nowhere in Islam is it said that harsh treatment be meted out if you don't say your prayers.'


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