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June 4, 1999
Aziz lists his agenda for talks with India
Pakistan Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz has said that his agenda for talks with India includes defusing of tension and ''prevention of further deterioration'' of the situation.
In an interview to a weekly, he said his other concerns were ''to assess the situation and share our concerns, and thirdly, to find a way out.'' However, he pointed out that ''obviously (the) Indians can't expect us to accept their approach of might is right, it's they who've been trying to ingress into our territory by violation the LoC and our airspace, no country can accept this.''
About the reported Indian offer of safe passage to the militants, Aziz said, ''We have nothing to do with it. If the Mujahideen are across the LoC, then it's for them to decide what to do or how to react to the Indian offer. Stopping the Mujahideen from crossing the LoC or offering them safe passage is India's problem, not ours.''
Asked how he would reconcile the diametrically opposite views on the situation during his talks in New Delhi, the foreign minister pointed out that the LoC was ''not exactly demarcated, (and) we must first ascertain whether somebody has at all crossed the line. We have to look at all the aspects, and in our view the role of UN observers is also critical. If India maintains there's no real problem in Kashmir, why don't they allow the UNMOGIP (UN Military Observer Group for India and Pakistan) to visit the area?''
Asked how the Mujahideen could operate at such heights without the active support of the Pakistan army, Aziz said, ''The Kashmir Mujahideen have been fighting for their cause for some 10 years now, and thousands of Kashmiris are involved in that. They've been living in the mountains and hills, it's really no big deal for them to reach such heights. The basic fact is that their activity actually has picked up in the past year or so because neither the UN fulfilled its pledge of self-determination nor India, which has deprived them of even whatever little rights they had ... The Indians are looking for excuses to crush that movement.''
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