Tuesday, June 3, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Pak ready to help India fight terrorism, says Kasuri

London, June 2
Indirectly admitting cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan has said it does not have an Alladin’s lamp to put an end to it but was ready to cooperate with India in this regard.

“We have never said there should be cross-border terrorism. What we have been saying is that our government is trying its level best to stop it,” Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri said while participating in a special phone-in programme of BBC Hindi, Aap ki Baat BBC Ke Saath broadcast, last night.

Pointing out that even the USA could not seal the border with Mexico, Kasuri said: “If some people go endangering their own lives and if the Indian Army, which is present in lakhs and is also along the LoC, cannot stop them, then which Alladin’s lamp do we have that we rub it and all this stops.

“We are trying, come let us try together so that we are able to give hope to the Kashmiris for future and there is peace in this region.”

Throughout the lengthy question-and-answer session, Kasuri emphasised the need for a sustained composite dialogue between Pakistan and India on all issues, including Kashmir so that the “results would be good” and there would be peace and development in the region.

“Unfortunately, we have fought three wars with India, and last year we were close to a war. We should all try that now we do not think of a war. Once we do that then levels of cooperation will increase.

“...Once the Indian and Pakistani Prime Ministers talk, I have full confidence that then the violence, hostility and militancy from both sides of the border would come down.”

Asked why the two countries could not accept the Line of Control (LoC) as the international border between the two countries, the Pakistan Foreign Minister said: “Well at the moment we are not talking of solutions. The ultimate solution would be one in which there would be no defeat for either India or Pakistan.

“It would be extremely foolish at this stage to talk of solutions, if we do that, then the efforts that we are making for a dialogue, would be sabotaged even before the talks. The journalists, columnists in both the countries are free to write as they have the freedom to do so. But those involved in the process — the Foreign Ministers, the Prime Ministers and the Presidents — should not go into the details at this stage.

Answering a question on India’s demand that cross-border terrorism, especially from that of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, would have to stop before resumption of dialogue, Kasuri said: “Well we have repeatedly been saying that we are trying, we have told the world about this. Your own former Army Chief, Gen Padmanabhan, has admitted this. Even Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, while speaking in the Lok Sabha mentioned this.

Islamabad: Pakistan today called for quick resumption of dialogue with India to discuss all outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, and said it was ready for the talks at any level, any time and any place.

Briefing mediapersons here, designated High Commissioner to India Aziz Ahmad Khan said Pakistan would not be found wanting to respond to any suggestions for a meaningful, sustained and result-oriented dialogue with India.

He reiterated Pakistan’s position that Kashmir issue should be resolved in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people and UN resolutions. UNI, PTI


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