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|May 29, 1999||
Pallone decries linking Kargil to easing of nuke-related economic sanctions
Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone has justified India's ''http://www.rediff.com/news/1999/may/28kash16.htm">armed action in Kashmir, insisting that the effort to repeal United States' sanctions on India and Pakistan should not be tied to the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
In a statement in Washington Friday night, he said the current operation in Kashmir was a legitimate action by India to defend its territory against foreign mercenaries.
After a private briefing for members of Congress with India's ambassador to the US, Naresh Chandra, Pallone said he was ''convinced that India is acting with legitimacy and restraint.''
Apparently, he was referring to Republican Senator Sam Brownback -- sponsor of an amendment to the Defence Authorisation Bill to suspend the sanctions for five years -- who withdrew the amendment on Wednesday last, citing the current hostilities in Kashmir.
''I was disappointed that this amendment was withdrawn, with the stated reason being this week's action by India's air force,'' Pallone said adding, ''the implication was that India and Pakistan were equally guilty, or that India was even the aggressor, when the reality is that India is trying to respond to an aggression that has caused the deaths of thousands of people and the dislocation of hundreds of thousands of refugees.''
Pallone also said that Congress should only be addressing the Glenn Amendment sanctions that went into effect last year after India and Pakistan tested nuclear devices and not the Pressler Amendment sanctions prohibiting US arms sales to Pakistan.
''Given Pakistani support for the militants who have infiltrated India's side of the Line of Control, it is clear that Pakistan is the country that is promoting instability,'' he added.
''The bottom line is that India has undertaken a defensive operation to repulse hostile infiltrators on its soil and India has taken appropriate steps to keep its neighbour Pakistan and the world community informed about its actions. Indeed, there are reports indicating that these well-trained mercenaries are not only supported by the Pakistani army, but that Pakistani army regulars may be participating in the infiltration of India,'' he added.
Pallone said he had introduced a legislation to repeal the Glenn Amendment sanctions, which has done nothing to promote nuclear non-proliferation or to build confidence between India and Pakistan.
''What the sanctions have accomplished is to cause American businesses to lose trade and investment opportunities with both India and Pakistan, to disrupt bilateral relations in many other areas not related to military or nuclear technology and to block important development projects, funded by international funding institutions,'' he said.
''Furthermore, Pakistan's involvement in supporting the militants that continuously infiltrate India's territory is an example of how Pakistan promotes regional instability and commits or supports aggression against its neighbours,'' Pallone added.
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