M A I N   N E W S

Mansingh warns Pak against harping on Kashmir
T.V. Parasuram

Washington, April 2
Warning Pakistan against holding the entire bilateral Indo-Pak agenda hostage to a single issue of Kashmir, Indian Ambassador to the USA Lalit Mansingh has said this approach will defeat the purpose of the current peace initiative.

“It is equally important that Pakistan must not hold the entire bilateral agenda hostage to a single issue, namely Kashmir. That will defeat the very purpose of the current peace initiative,” Mr Mansingh, who would soon retire from his position in Washington, said. He lauded the enormous strides made in Indo-US relations, but cautioned Washington against double standards on the international war against terrorism.

“This war cannot be won completely and durably if short-term political calculations come into play and there is ambiguity about allies as well as adversaries,” he said.

“In the global war against terrorism, there cannot be two touchstones for judging acts of premeditated violence against innocent human beings. There cannot be the remotest justification in terms of looking for the so-called root causes,” he said in his address at the Elliot School of International Affairs, George Washington University, yesterday.

Referring to the series of engagements between India and Pakistan following Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s initiative, Mr Mansingh pointed out that at a meeting in Islamabad in February, senior officials from both sides agreed upon a succession of meetings that would take place between May and August this year.

“These will be at various levels and will culminate in a meeting of the two Foreign Ministers. Even as these go ahead, it is important for Pakistan to meet its commitments in curbing terrorism,” he said. — PTI

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