US to Pak: Rein in militants in J-K
25 January 2001
Washington DC: Virtually supporting India's demand, the US Thursday asked Islamabad to use its 'influence' to rein in Pakistan-based militant outfits operating in Jammu and Kashmir, and said New Delhi's peace initiatives would be 'greatly enhanced' if these groups responded positively. Praising India's decision to extend its unilateral ceasefire in the state for another month, state department spokesman Richard Boucher said 'we think it's a good thing. We welcome the announcement. '.....We believe the peace process would be greatly enhanced if the Kashmiri militant groups responded positively to India's announcement by taking steps to halt the violence. We would encourage all the parties to take initiatives to reduce violence and foster a process to end the conflict in Kashmir.' He said the Pakistan government should also 'use its influence with the militant groups to urge them to halt the violence.' Bourcher said US always maintained that 'all the groups, everybody, involved, should halt the violence and be involved in the (peace) process.' The US statement comes two days after India's extension of unilateral ceasefire in the state and prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's assertion that militants were bent upon blocking the peace initiative and it was the responsibility of Islamabad to rein them in.