April 2002 News

Pak not sincere for de-escalation: Pant

10 April 2002
The Daily Excelsior

Dubai: Pakistan does not seem to be sincere in de-escalating tension with India as it has not given ''any evidence'' of its intention to end support to militants in Kashmir, Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission and the Government’s interlocutor on Kashmir K C Pant said. ''The infiltration along the border is continuing, and the killings are also on'' Pant told reporters here on his way back home from a SAARC meeting in Islamabad. He, however, noted that no bilateral matters were raised or discussed in Islamabad. He said India had demanded that Pakistan hand over 20 men wanted in India of which 16 were criminals against whom the Interpol had issued red corner notices. But, though Pakistan preached war with terrorism in Afghanistan, there was no indication of carrying it forward when Kashmir was concerned, he said. ''There should be consistency of approach when a campaign against terrorism is conducted,,,,'' he said adding India frankly expected Pakistan to respond to its peace moves. He said this time he had meetings with the Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf along with the Indian delegation but bilateral issues were not discussed. When pointed out that the Pakistan President had tried to raise bilateral issues last time when Information and Broadcasting Minister Sushma Swaraj was representing India at a SAARC meeting in Islamabad, Pant said this time there was no reference to bilateral issues. Pant said the snow was melting along the border which India is monitoring. ''The ball is in their court'', he added.


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