February 2004 News

'Terrorist act may harm peace process'

18 February 2004
The Nation
Our Monitoring Desk

Lahore: The ongoing peace process between Islamabad and New Delhi could derail in the event of any major terrorist attack in India or Jammu and Kashmir, said Indian Foreign Minister Shashank in an interview with Al Jazeera. 'That (terrorist attack) can happen, suppose there is a major terrorist operation in India and Jammu and Kashmir, it can happen, it can derail (peace process),' Mr. Shashank, Indian Foreign Secretary was quoted by AlJazeera Satellite television as having said in an exclusive broadcast. While counting other possible factors that can hurdle durable peace in South Asia, Shashank said any possibility of building up pressure within the Pakistani establishment against ongoing peace process could cause difficult situation for Islamabad to sustain the ongoing momentum of talks. He hoped issue of Jammu and Kashmir would be resolved together with other bilateral disputes with Pakistan declining to anticipate a time framework for settlement of valley's dispute. He said India has entered in peace dialogues with great amount of sincerity and there is great amount of support for the peace process Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee started last year. He assured peace parleys would remain on track between two countries after forthcoming elections in India. Shashank pointed out that even Indian opposition parties have not opposed this peace process between two nuclear states and there is no likelihood of change of heart from Delhi after coming elections. Indian foreign Secretary told the Arab channel that cross border infiltration to Indian Held Kashmir control has almost come to zero level.


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