March 2003 News

UK Admits It Couldn't Stop Pak Terror In J&K

6 March 2003
The Times of India

New Delhi: Britain has admitted that it has not been 'effective enough' to make Pakistan comply with its promise of ending cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and feels that Islamabad needs to do more on this count. British High Commissioner to India Sir Rob Young says that London would keep up pressure to see an end to cross-border terrorism, infiltration into Jammu and Kashmir, flow of supplies and removal of infrastructure but advocates that India and Pakistan hold dialogue to 'sort out differences'. 'We have not been weak. In fact, we have been strong and effective in the last 18 months. But we have not been effective enough,' Young said participating in Karan Thapar's Court Martial programme telecast on SAB TV on Thursday night. 'More needs to be done by us and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf,' he said. Young was responding to a question on a recent statement by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Parliament that US and UK had been 'weak' in making Pakistan fulfil its promise on ending terrorism. 'We have a serious undertaking from President Musharraf on the question of cross-border terrorism. My government's position remains the same - that cross-border terrorism has to be stopped permanently and sincerely,' he said, adding Britain would continue to 'persuade' Pakistan. He said Britain was 'closely focussing' on this issue and was 'still very concerned' on the matter. Young feels that there was 'significant drop in terrorist activities and some progress last year' but adds 'more needs to be done and we will keep up pressure.' He asserted that Britain condemned all forms of terrorism and decried any attempt to justify this. 'We find no difference between terrorists and freedom fighters,' the British envoy said. Pointing out that the UN Security Council Resolution 1373 on ending terrorism was obligatory on all nations, he said his country would 'continue our efforts to make the equation (of ending terrorism) work.' Maintaining that there was a 'need' for India and Pakistan to 'sort out differences' through negotiations, Young said Britain would work to help create a situation for dialogue between the two countries. 'We hope such an atmosphere will be created sooner or later,' he said. When his attention was drawn to India's stand that terrorism should end for dialogue to begin, he cited the example of Northern Ireland and said the British government had to contemplate dialogue with rebels there after years of terrorism. 'Sooner or later, the dialogue process will have to begin again. In the end, the only way these issues (of terrorism) can be sorted out is through dialogue,' he said.

 

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