Liberation struggle, terrorism are different: Rashid
29 January 2003
The News International
KUWAIT CITY: Federal Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has said that there is a difference between the liberation movement and the terrorism and the world is aware of qualitative difference between the two situations.Briefing journalists on the meeting of Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali and Amir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al- Thani, which took place here on Wednesday at the latter's palace, he said the Indian hawkish ministers had been issuing provocative statements for quite some time but the world knew that Pakistan was capable of defending its frontiers effectively, which was the main reason India could not dare attack Pakistan, despite bringing massive forces close to Pakistani border.The minister said Pakistan has always offered dialogue to India for finding a peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute. 'If North and South Koreas could meet and discuss then what is wrong with us. If India agrees to resolve the Kashmir conflict, the two sides can sit together to work out cooperation in other fields,' he added.He said Kashmir is on the UN agenda for well over 50 years and it is Pakistan's desire that the world must perform its responsibility to find an early solution. He said the prime minister has briefed and updated the leaders of the Gulf region on the latest situation in South Asia, particularly its relations with India where tension is mounting due to long-standing issue of Kashmir.Replying to a question, the minister said that Pakistan would continue its cooperation with the United States and its allies in their fight against terrorism. 'Pakistan has paid a heavy price in Afghanistan since the international fight against terrorism was launched,' he said and added that against this price 'our gains are very little'.He told a questioner that there was no truth in report about Pak-North Korean cooperation in the nuclear field and termed it part of anti-Pakistan propaganda. 'We neither import nuclear technology nor we believe in exporting it', the minister said in a convincing manner.Asked to comment on President Bush's State of the Union address, the minister said Pakistan was now the member of the UN Security Council and would abide by the decisions of the world body.However, he said Prime Minister Jamali has, on different occasions, clearly stated that Pakistan did not want war in Iraq and it was with this conviction that the prime minister was visiting Gulf states to consult the leadership of this region.The minister said in Wednesday's meeting with Amir of Qatar, Iraq remained the main focus. However, detailed discussion was also held on bilateral matters and added that complete understanding prevailed on all matters of mutual interests.Meanwhile, in his departure statement, Prime Minister Jamali said he held useful discussions with his Qatari counterpart that enabled the two sides to review bilateral relations and the situation prevailing in the Gulf region.About his meeting with Amir of Qatar, he said: 'The dialogue with him has reaffirmed our shared perceptions and convergence of views on bilateral and international questions of interest.'On Iraq, Jamali said: 'We agreed that every effort should be made to avoid a war, which would spell devastation for the region.' He said he took the opportunity to brief the Qatari leadership about the current state of relations between India and Pakistan. It provided an occasion to also exchange views on Middle East crisis and developments concerning Afghanistan.He said the two sides explored ways and means to enhance economic cooperation and to 'encourage our private sectors to closely interact for future projects'. The prime minister said he has extended an official invitation to the Amir of Kuwait and the 0.prime minister to visit Pakistan at an early date.