August 2003 News

Britain Urges Pak To Stop Infiltration Across LoC

7 August 2003
The Asian Age

London: Britain has asked Pakistan to fulfill its commitment to stop infiltration across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. 'Pending the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir issue, the Line of Control should be strictly respected. We understand that the US was given a categorical undertaking by (Pakistan) President Musharraf that sealing the LoC would be permanent. Pakistan should do its utmost to discourage any acts of violence by militants in Kashmir,' a British foreign office spokesperson told The Asian Age here on Thursday. Dismissing recent reports in the Pakistan media about an international force to monitor the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir as nonsense, he added: 'We are not aware of any proposals for monitoring the LoC which are being actively considered in European capitals at the moment.' A report in the Pakistani daily the News had claimed that an international helicopter-borne force is being planned as a mechanism to check infiltration across the LoC. British officials have clarified that such a force would be possible only if it was acceptable to both India and Pakistan. 'If we were asked to assist with a monitoring or verification process, we would of course consider that request. But any arrangement would have to be acceptable to both India and Pakistan and we have received no such request from either country,' the spokesperson said. 'Verification that infiltration by terrorists across the Line of Control has stopped will be a vital element in difusing tensions over Kashmir and some form of monitoring could be part of a long term solution. But it's not for the British government, Americans or Europeans to prescribe that. It is up to the parties themeselves to decide how they want to incorporate monitoring,' he added.

 

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