January 2003 News

Pakistan, US differ on infiltration: FO

27 January 2003
The Dawn
Hasan Akhtar

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan said on Monday that no request had been made by the United States seeking Islamabad's assistance in the possible military action against Iraq. Speaking at a weekly press conference, a foreign office spokesman Aziz Ahmad Khan said that no direct or indirect request had been made by the US in this regard. The spokesman said that Iraq should comply with the Security Council resolutions on its alleged nuclear arms by extending full support to the UN inspectors. He said that Pakistan had all along called for Iraqi compliance of the UN mandate so that the matter could be resolved peacefully. About US ambassador Nancy Powell's remarks made last week at a function in Karachi about alleged Pakistani support to infiltration into occupied Kashmir, the spokesman said that there existed 'a difference of perceptions' on this issue between Pakistan and the United States. However, he reiterated Islamabad's claim that there was no cross- border infiltration from Pakistan side. He said that deployment of UN observers on both sides of the Line of Control was the best way to confirm such claims, adding that Pakistan had taken all measures to stop infiltration. The spokesman refused to accept the Indian media reports suggesting that the visit of Iranian president to New Delhi undermined Iran-Pakistan relations. He said that relations between the two Muslim countries continued to grow in all dimensions. He said that President Khatami had visited Islamabad before his Delhi visit, during which the two sides had expressed their desire to further improve bilateral relations. Replying to a question, the spokesman said the current visit to Pakistan of the Janata Party president, Dr SubramaniumSwami, was on the expressed desire of the Indian leader who wished to meet his wide circle of friends in political and official circles here. He has also requested for a meeting with President Gen Pervez Musharraf. However, the spokesman said he was unaware of Dr Swamy's itinerary in Pakistan.


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