The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW

Military

SLUG: 2-290045 Bush / India / Pakistan (L)
DATE:
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE= 05/21/02

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

TITLE=BUSH INDIA/PAKISTAN (L)

NUMBER=2-290045

BYLINE=SCOTT STEARNS

DATELINE=WHITE HOUSE

CONTENT=

INTRO: President Bush is calling for calm between India and Pakistan as violence continues in the disputed region of Kashmir. V-O-A's Scott Stearns reports, the latest U-S expression of concern follows the assassination of a moderate Kashmiri separatist leader.

TEXT: White House spokesman Ari Fleischer says the president has long been concerned about the deteriorating relationship between India and Pakistan.

He says a conflict between the nuclear powers not only threatens the region but could also distract from the international fight against terrorism.

/// FLEISCHER ACT ///

We call on India and Pakistan to work to resolve the current crisis peacefully and through dialogue that can eventually result in a permanent solution. The president thinks it is very important that India and Pakistan take all steps they can to reduce tensions and to avoid a war that would destabilize the region and distract from the war against terrorism.

/// END ACT ///

Mr. Fleischer says the Bush Administration is engaged in on-going diplomacy to ease tensions between India and Pakistan, including an upcoming visit to the countries by Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.

U-S concerns follow the assassination of Kashmiri separatist leader Abdul Ghani Lone who was shot by masked gunmen at a memorial rally for another separatist leader.

In a written statement, Secretary of State Colin Powell said he was saddened and angered to hear of the murder, calling it a direct attack on Mr. Lone's hopes for what the secretary calls "a fair political process in Kashmir."

Mr. Lone was seen as a moderate leader who wanted to take steps toward talks with the Indian government to find a political solution to the dispute.

Secretary Powell says his killers are "clearly among those who oppose a peaceful political resolution," calling the assassination a terrorist act designed to undermine hopes for free and fair elections.

India and Pakistan have massed nearly a million troops along their border since December, when Islamic militants attacked the Indian parliament. (SIGNED)

NEB/SS/KBK



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list