July 1998 News

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India, Pakistan Can't be Trusted: Celeste

31st July 1998

MUMBAI- The United States today declared that it could not trust either India or Pakistan to observe restraint in deployment of nuclear weapons in view of cross border firing every day. Addressing a press conference at the American Center during his first visit here after the nuclear tests at Pokhran, US Ambassador Richard Frank Celeste commented "even during the worst years in the history of the United States and the erstwhile Soviet Union, we were not firing every day across the line of control in Kashmir like India and Pakistan." Indo-US relations would go through a difficult period and a lot of hard work lies ahead for resolving the issues on sanctions, he said.

Referring to the negotiations going on between Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Jaswant Singh and the US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, Mr Celeste said: "It is not our desire to punish India and discourage businessmen from America to invest in India, but the reality is that sanctions are being implemented correctly and the US law does not permit an automatic lifting." "We deeply feel about India and it deeply matters to the US too and I hope people will understand," he said.

Mr Celeste said large investments would not get affected and it was evident with the Dabhol power plant going ahead with its programme and the recent MoU between a US corporate sector and the Department of Petroleum.


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