Thursday, May 15, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Pak raises Kashmir issue at UN
India favours bilateral talks

United Nations, May 14
Ignoring the raking up of the Kashmir issue by Pakistan during a debate in the UN Security Council, India said bilateral negotiations were the “most preferred” means for resolving bilateral disputes.

Bilateral negotiations are advocated by the world body’s charter and such a course is also seen by “distinguished jurists” as the “most preferred method of settlement of disputes,” India’s Ambassador to the UN Vijay K. Nambiar told the council while participating in the debate on “Pacific Resolution of Conflicts” yesterday.

Mr Nambiar, who spoke after Pakistan Foreign Minister Kurshid Mohammad Kasuri stated that there could be no “durable solution” to the Kashmir issue unless the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir were taken into account, rejected Pakistan’s contention that there should be UN supervised plebiscite in the state.

Mr Nambiar, throughout his address, did not mention either Pakistan or Kashmir. But he did criticise continuous low-intensity proxy wars through infiltration, cross-border terrorism and other means using force and said such a situation did confer right on the victim state to take all necessary measures in self-defence just as would be the case if there is an armed attack.

Commending the bilateral negotiations approach as it involved bargaining and may involve the elements of give and take, he said there was a greater probability of the parties carrying out the agreement faithfully.

Imposed solution, he said, was likely to be reopened by the aggrieved party and, thus, would be no real settlement.

Mr Kasuri, who presided over the meeting as his country is the president of the council for the current month, agreed that the Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration to which both countries are parties support bilateral discussions.

He referred to the Kashmir issue and the council resolution adopted following negotiations and agreement between the two countries which, he said, promised a “free and fair plebiscite under UN auspices to enable the people of Jammu and Kashmir to determine whether they wish to join India or Pakistan.”

But he did not directly blame India, saying that the process ran aground due to cold war when the council could not persuade the parties to implement the resolution and then went on to say that the Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration support solution through bilateral discussion. PTI

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