January 2003 News

Pak infiltration worrying: Haass

6 January 2003
The Asian Age

New Delhi: The US on Monday said Pakistan was continuing infiltration across the LoC, which was a matter of concern. It impressed on Pakistan the need to respect the Line of Control and assured it will continue to exert pressure on it in this respect. Mr Richard Haass, the director of the policy planning staff in the US state department, who is on a visit to New Delhi, also ruled out the USí involvement in converting the LoC into a permanent border. He said this had to be resolved by India and Pakistan. On infiltration, he said, 'We are doing everything to bring this about so that it comes to an end. Iím sure it will... I hope the Pakistan government will come to the conclusion itself.' He said 'the activity is continuing and it is a matter of concern.' Mr Haass said infiltration was a 'regular topic' of discussion with Pakistan President Gen. Pervez Musharraf. Mr Haass said war with Iraq 'was possible' and it was left to President Saddam Hussein to choose a peaceful, diplomatic or military solution. The US was seeking Indian help in this connection and was hopeful of consulting closely with India and asking 'India to do certain things' as India was 'like-minded.' The 'burden of proof' was on Iraq in regard to possessing weapons of mass destruction, he said. 'There are tremendous discrepancies between what it says it has and what it has,' Mr Haass said. The US was not acting unilaterally, he said, but enjoyed unqualified international support as the UN resolution was passed unanimously. Mr Haass said the US was confident of rallying international support in the future. Mr Haass termed the notion that 'America was going for Iraqi oil' as 'absurd.' It is not about 'feathering our nest,' he said, but about disarming Iraq of WMDs. Mr Haass said, in not so many words, that the USí stance was also personality-centric. The US wanted to see a democratic Iraq without the 'totalitarian' Saddam Hussein regime, he said. He ruled out asylum for Mr Hussein, saying he had a 'lot to answer for' in concern with crimes against humanity.


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