August 2004 News

Pakistan Failing To Keep Kashmir Pledge-India

21 August 2004

New Delhi: India's ruling Congress party accused Pakistan on Saturday of not keeping its promise to halt support for Kashmiri militants fighting against New Delhi's rule in the disputed Himalayan region. But the party reaffirmed its faith in peace talks between the nuclear-armed neighbours. It was the third time this week New Delhi expressed disappointment over what it says is Islamabad's failure to curb Kashmiri guerrillas, signalling that a nascent peace process between the longtime foes could be running into difficulty. 'Cross-border terrorism continues to be a menace,' the Congress party said in a resolution passed at a meeting of its national committee, the first since it came to power after a shock victory in May elections. 'We seem to be dealing with a neighbouring government that has failed or is unable to deliver on its promises,' the resolution said, without naming Pakistan. 'Yet we should continue to have faith in prospects of a dialogue.' Kashmir, India's only Muslim-majority state, has been the trigger for two of three wars India and Pakistan have fought since independence from British colonial rule in 1947. More than 40,000 people have been killed in Kashmir since a revolt against Indian rule began 15 years ago. There has been an increase in separatist violence in recent weeks in Kashmir, of which India controls 45 percent, Pakistan a third and China the rest. India and Pakistan began talks this year to resolve the Kashmir dispute after Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf promised to curb militant activity and then Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee agreed to negotiate. New Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh vowed on Sunday to pursue peace moves with Pakistan but said cross-border violence in Kashmir could hurt the process. Three days later, junior Foreign Minister Edappakath Ahamed said Pakistan had yet to take steps to shut down the bases of anti-Indian Muslim militants on its soil.


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