SLUG: 2-289841 Pak/U-S/India (L-O)
TITLE=PAK /U-S/INDIA (L-O)
INTRO: U-S Under Secretary of State Christina Rocca says she urged both India and Pakistan to ease tensions and resolve disputes through negotiations, during her two day peace mission to both South Asian countries. The senior U-S official spoke to reporters in Islamabad, before departing, as Ayaz Gul reports.
TEXT: Ms. Rocca's visit to the region was aimed at preventing
any escalation in military tensions that have raised fears of a fourth war
between India and Pakistan. She held extensive discussions on the issue with
leaders in both the countries.
At a news conference in Islamabad, the Under Secretary of State said a
dialogue between India and Pakistan is the only way to avert confrontation
in the region.
I think this is a major focus of U-S government policy and we continue to
work the issue. We are working with both sides to try to defuse tension and
ultimately no conflict gets resolved without dialogue in the end. So we
continue to push for dialogue.
Ms. Rocca says the Untied States remains hopeful that it will be able to
defuse tensions between India and Pakistan. But she gave no indication her
visit has helped move the two countries away from a possible confrontation.
I don't think I have any thing brand new to tell you that I could talk about
in any public forum. But I think we are going to continue work the issue.
It's of major importance to our government and it's one that we are not
going to give up.
Pakistan has said it is willing to open talks with India. Officials in New
Delhi maintain that Islamabad must stop the infiltration of Islamic
militants into Indian Kashmir before relations are normalized.
Tensions between the two countries have been running high since
December, when suspected Islamic militants carried out an attack on India's
parliament. Officials in Islamabad deny Indian allegations that Pakistan was
behind it. Both sides have deployed large numbers of extra troops along
their tense border.
A deadly attack on an Indian army base in Kashmir on Tuesday has renewed the
friction. Indian leaders blame Pakistan and have vowed to retaliate for the
attack, which left at least 30 people dead. Pakistan's Information Minister
Nisar Memon has denied the allegations. He has also advised India against
any military action.
We hope that such a thing they will not venture because Pakistan is ready
and our forces are ready to defend every inch of Pakistan.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence from Britain in
1947. The two countries have now equipped their armies with nuclear weapons.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|