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July 21, 1999
Albright condemns J&K massacres
C K Arora in Washington
US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has taken a serious note of the killing of 15 civilians by militants in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir. ''We condemn attacks against civilians and, obviously, those who perpetrate them and those who give assistance to the perpetrators,'' she said.
Replying to a question during her media conference in Washington, she said, ''Acts of terrorism must stop immediately because such actions make the Kashmir conflict more not less difficult to resolve.''
''We hope very much that India and Pakistan will resume their dialogue under the Lahore process. And that is, frankly, what I am going to be talking to Jaswant Singh,'' she said when asked as to what would be the agenda of their meeting in Singapore next week.
''He is someone that I've known for a long time and that has really been very important in the dialogue that we had on the nuclear issues, as well as on the Lahore process. So I'm looking forward to seeing him in Singapore and being able to continue our discussion,'' she said.
At the outset, she said, ''Well, first of all, let me say that obviously we have taken a great deal of interest in the whole issue of what is happening in the various disputes between India and Pakistan.''
In this context, she referred to the July 4 meeting that US President Bill Clinton had with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharief at which the latter agreed to pull out his forces from Indian territory.
She said everybody would readily agree with the important role that President Clinton had played in terms of moving the process forward.
In reply to another question, she said, ''Both Pakistani and Indian officials have made conflicting claims about the fighting on the Siachen glacier and along the Line of Control. And I think that the Pakistanis say that they repulsed two Indian attacks, and India says that the fighting never occurred. We can't verify either claim, but we do know that violent incidents have in fact been taking place regularly.''
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