|HOME | NEWS | THE KARGIL CRISIS | REPORT|
July 13, 1999
US rules out mediation in Kashmir issue
C K Arora in Washington
While ruling out mediation, the United States has urged both India and Pakistan to resume their bilateral dialogue under the Lahore process on all issues including Kashmir, ''once the fighting has ended'' in the Kargil sector.
''We believe, in fact, that resolving this current crisis along the Line of Control was the predicate indeed to restoring the Lahore process, under which India and Pakistan will be able to discuss the entire range of issues between them, obviously including Kashmir,'' State Department spokesman, James Foley, said yesterday.
He welcomed the reported ''significant'' reduction in fighting in Kargil after the announcement by the two countries that their senior military commanders had worked out an agreement that ''will restore the LoC in the Kargil sector.''
Foley also clarified the US stand in the face of ''persistent'' reports from Pakistan, suggesting that US President Bill Clinton's announcement to take ''personal interest'' in the regional problems amounted to mediation on the part of the United States. He said, ''The fact is we're very concerned about this crisis. We've maintained very close and productive dialogue with both India and Pakistan throughout this crisis because we regard it as in the interests not only of the subcontinent, but of the world at large, to defuse this crisis and to see a restoration of the Line of Control.''
Foley, however, said that efforts of the United States or other countries did not constitute international mediation. ''Those are different concepts and that's not what happened here,'' he added.
He said the US was interested in ''encouraging an expeditious resumption and intensification of efforts by India and Pakistan to resolve their outstanding differences including Kashmir. The US is not a mediator, nor did we offer any specific proposal for ending the fighting in Kargil.''
Foley recalled that there had been quite a number of incidents along different parts of the LoC over the years. ''Here, though, we had a full-blown crisis and I think both India and Pakistan deserve an enormous amount of credit for having been able to work to defuse the situation and, hopefully, are now on the road to resolving it,'' he added.
''And again, what's important is the resumption of the Lahore dialogue. That offered significant hope for India and Pakistan to begin to deal with issues that divide them in a different way. We hope that process will resume once we have restoration of the Line of Control, once we have a full cessation of hostilities, then we would like to see the Lahore process resumed,'' the spokesman added.
BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL RESERVATIONS | WORLD CUP 99
EDUCATION | PERSONAL HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | FEEDBACK