Global Community Not Pro-active On Kashmir: Pak
23 September 2003
The Times of India
Islamabad: As President Pervez Musharraf gears up to raise Kashmir issue in his address to the UN General Assembly, Pakistan on Monday lashed out at the United Nations and international community for 'not doing enough' to pressure India to hold talks with it to resolve the issue. 'The international community is not doing enough. The UN has not done enough. The United Nations has been pro-active in many other areas but not on Kashmir,' Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Masood Khan told a media briefing. 'It is not enough to issue statements. It has to be more active on resolution of Jammu and Kashmir dispute,' he added. Khan said the international community should persuade Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to begin talks with Musharraf to discuss Kashmir and other issues. 'It is the responsibility of the international community to look for a breakthrough to end the conflict,' he said replying to a question. Khan's remarks came as Musharraf reached New York to address the UN General Assembly and meet US President George W Bush on Sept 24, during which he was expected to raise the slow pace of India-Pak peace process. Asked whether the reluctance on the part of the international community to take a pro-active role to resolve the Kashmir issue was due to failure of the Pakistan Foreign Office to highlight it properly, Khan said 'the answer is no and emphatic no'. Khan said for over 50 years, Kashmir was 'more than an obsession' with Pakistan and was dealt with on priority basis by all governments, including the present one. He said the Kashmir issue has four players: Pakistan, India, the international community and Kashmiris - 'in that order.' 'Pakistan has always fulfilled its promises' under all mechanism that existed and is ready to fulfil any other promises,' he said adding it was India that went back on all it had promised. 'But the international community has not done enough. People of Jammu and Kashmir are suffering. The Foreign office has not failed but it is the international community that has failed, because the attitude of India is negative, adamant and obstructionist,' Khan said. Asked about the chances of a meeting between Vajyapee and Msuharraf in New York, he said Pakistan had proposed it in the past but India never responded positively. However, he added that Islamabad had not made any specific request this time. Khan said External Affairs Minister Yaswant Sinha and Foreign Secretary Kanwal Sibal had already discouraged Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri from visiting India to deliver the SAARC summit invitation. 'They are not ready to meet. How can the meeting take place. It is an interesting charade. It remains a charade,' Khan said. Asked whether Musharraf would raise the Kashmir issue at the UN General Assembly, Khan said the issue has been on the agenda of the Security Council for half a century. In addition to raising the issue, Musharraf would highlight the need for the resolution of the Kashmir issue and stop alleged human rights violations in Kashmir, Khan said. Reacting to India's stand that it would be a test case for Pakistan not to raise the Kashmir issue at the UNGA, he said 'Indians want to hide the on- going acts of repression'. Khan said Musharraf, who was scheduled to meet Bush on Sept 24, would raise the issue of imbalance in conventional arms capability between Pakistan and India in view of Israel's decision to sell Phalcon airborne radar system and New Delhi's intention to purchase Arrow missiles. Musharraf would try to impress upon Bush not to support this move, he said. Reacting to reports of Taliban recapturing some districts in Afghanistan, Khan said there was need to mount a sustained and aggressive campaign to prevent this. 'Afghan, US and NATO-led forces should orchestrate and execute campaign so that remnants of al-Qaeda and other terrorists are interdicted and arrested,' he said. Asked about reports in international media blaming Pakistan for its nuclear connections with Saudi Arabia, Iran and North Korea, Khan said there was no substance to these allegations. He said most of the reports were based on rumours to malign Pakistan. 'These reports have been rejected by the Pakistan leadership at the highest level,' Khan added. Khan said Pakistan's nuclear capability was defensive and India specific. He said Islamabad did not endorse proliferation of any sort and had a very reliable and foolproof export control system. 'Our record in this record is impeccable.' He denied reports that Indonesia had lodged any protest over the arrest of some Indonesian students in Karachi last week for links with extremist organisations. Khan the arrests were made to interdict and investigate suspected terrorists. He said investigations against the students were underway and no final determination had been made.