July 2004 News

Natwar briefed on anti-terror efforts

29 July 2004
The Nation
Shaiq Hussain

Islamabad: In an unprecedented move, the Interior Ministry gave an exclusive briefing to Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh on antiterror efforts by Pakistan during his recent visit to Islamabad, well placed sources told The Nation on Thursday. 'Top officials of the Interior Ministry briefed the Indian foreign minister on Pakistan's steps to eradicate the scourge of terror and this act of Pakistani government was aimed at dispelling the impression that Islamabad's efforts against the global menace were ineffective,' the sources said. They said the Indian foreign minister was informed in detail about the crackdown against various terrorists' outfits and individuals. 'The basic purpose of this unusual exercise was to impress upon the top Indian official that New Delhi's contention about the cross border infiltration was baseless and Kashmiris struggle aimed at selfdetermination was indigenous,' they added. The US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage had spoke about the cross border violence during his recent visit to Islamabad. Before arrival in Pakistani capital, the top US official concluded his visit to India which made Islamabad believe that his information was based on Indian inputs, the sources said. They said that Islamabad has to move very cautiously as on the one hand it has to follow the peace process with India and on the other, the propaganda that cross border infiltration was on, needed to be disproved. A source said that with talks' channels opened Pakistan needed to impress upon India that Kashmir issue must be addressed in a serious manner and the Indian authorities should not take refuge in allegations that unrest in the held valley was only due to cross border terrorism and has nothing to do with the aspirations of Kashmiri people. It was with this aim that the special briefing was arranged by the Interior Ministry for Natwar Singh. Moreover, it was to tell him how serious Islamabad was in peace efforts and the same response on part of India was the need of hour, he added.


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