Infiltration has not ended, Says Powell
28 July 2002
The Hindustan Times
Islamabad: During his meeting with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf here on Sunday, US Secretary of State Colin Powell backed New Delhi''s position on terrorist infiltration — it has not stopped. Ironically, minutes before the meeting began, Musharraf had stated infiltration had stopped and trashed India''s claims to the contrary. Powell, however, said what was important was that tensions between India and Pakistan had decreased. ''Everybody agrees infiltration has gone down. Some say it is significant, others say it is only temporary and not significant. The US is monitoring the situation carefully. We still are not able to say that it has been stopped… we''ll be watching it very carefully. At the moment there is a difference of opinion whether it has ended or not. The important thing is that tensions have gone down significantly,'' he said at a press conference he attended with Pakistani Foreign Minister Inamul Haque later in the evening. On the resumption of dialogue, Powell said dialogue was possible only if the evidence was on the ground to convince the world that infiltration had stopped. He did not say if he and Musharraf discussed the dismantling of training camps which India believes is a prerequisite to resuming dialogue. However, before the meeting, he had said he would broach the subject with the Pakistani President. He did say, though, ''We appreciate the assurances once again, the assurances President Musharraf had given to me on the previous occasion and which President Bush has received as well.'' Powell also said both countries had reaffirmed their desire for a peaceful solution. However, he said, the two needed to talk on all issues, including Kashmir.