January 2003 News

Infiltration Into J&K Has Increased, Admits US

24 January 2003
The Times of India

Washington DC: After a drop, there has been an increase in militants infiltrating Jammu and Kashmir and the United States is working with Pakistan to stop it, the state department has said. Department Spokesman Richard Boucher said on Friday, 'infiltration has gone down and come back up somewhat.' He said Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf has given the United States assurances it will stop and 'that is something we work with him on. We do believe infiltration should stop completely.' Pakistani Islamic leaders demanded on Friday that US Ambassador Nancy Powell be expelled after she said Pakistan must keep militants from infiltrating into Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan officials objected to Powell's remarks, but said she wouldn't be asked to leave. The foreign ministry summoned her over the issue, underscoring the depth of sensitivity among many Pakistanis over perceived US slights toward their nation. Boucher said Powell had been misquoted in a speech Thursday when she said Pakistan must adhere to its pledges to prevent Pakistan-based militants from crossing the Line of Control. Boucher said Powell was echoing Musharraf's remarks in January 2002 when he said that Pakistan would not allow its territory to be used for any terrorist activity anywhere in the world.


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