US is not forcing India into talks,
says Ambassador Chandra
C K Arora in Washington
Naresh Chandra, India's ambassador to the United States, has said the Bill Clinton administration is not exerting "undue pressure" on India to resume the Lahore process immediately after the end of fighting in the Kargil sector of Jammu & Kashmir state.
Talking to reporters after meeting Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs Karl F Inderfurth, Chandra said there is no impatience on Washington's part on this count. The US has practical ideas how things will proceed after the restoration of the Line of Control, he added.
He said the mood in India at present is not conducive for resumption of the dialogue with Pakistan, which had gathered steam after Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's meeting with his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharief, in Lahore in February. "We have to have mutual trust for the dialogue, which does not exist," he said.
The ambassador referred to the growing goodwill for the US in India after its stand on Kargil and noted that Washington is aware of it. "I expect that they will act in a fashion that this increase in goodwill is not frittered away," he added.
Asked whether the US agrees with India's condition for the resumption of talks that Pakistan should put an end to cross-border terrorism along with the restoration of the LoC, Chandra said: "We should not minimise the concerns that the US has [about] international terrorism."
He said the US had imposed sanctions on the Taliban regime last week because of Afghanistan's refusal to help combat terrorism. Pakistan should read the signals from the US action against its northern neighbour, he said.
The Kargil Crisis
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