Kashmir Most Dangerous Place: Armitage
13 August 2003
The Indian Express
Sydney: Taking India by surprise, US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage has said that Kashmir, apart from Israel and Palestine, was the 'most dangerous place in the world.' 'There are a lot of other dangerous parts in the world. India and Pakistan over Kashmir comes to mind,' Armitage said in response to a specific question after his lecture at the Asia Society Australasia Centre in Sydney on Wednesday, attended among others by Indian High Commissioner to Australia R.S. Rathore.Armitage was asked to comment on the progress in the roadmap to peace in West Asia and Israel and Palestine being the most dangerous places in the world. Rathore later said he was surprised at Kashmir being referred to as a 'dangerous place' even after India had taken several peace initiatives to normalise relations with Pakistan. 'I was surprised at the reference of Kashmir being a hot spot. Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has already taken several initiatives in improving relations with Pakistan,' he said. 'State elections have been held in Kashmir and civilian authority and civilian life is functioning normally. However, we do get occasional terrorist attacks, aided and abetted from across the border,' he said.