Pak. in dilemma over U.S. charge on infiltration
22 September 2002
B Muralidhar Reddy
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Government is clearly caught in a dilemma over the charges of increased infiltration across the Line of Control (LoC) by the United States and is struggling to formulate a response. While it chose not to react to the statement made by the U.S. Ambassador in New Delhi, Robert Blackwill, two days ago, the Pakistan Foreign Office seized the report in the New York Times on the same lines to ventilate its anger and ''sense of hurt''. Around mid-night on Saturday, the Foreign Office issued a strongly-worded statement denouncing the report as ''baseless, mischievous and tendentious''. It pointed out that the rebuttal of the charge was part of the news report. A Foreign Office spokesman said the story ''appeared to be inspired to question the credibility of the Government of Pakistan and to provide justification'' for the Indian Government to maintain its forces deployed against Pakistan. ''Those behind this story are obviously opposed to reduction of tension between Pakistan and India'', he said. A paper as prestigious as the New York Times had fallen for ''motivated stories not only to vilify Pakistan but also to escalate tension in the region'', he regretted.