|HOME | NEWS | THE KARGIL CRISIS | REPORT|
June 25, 1999
US, G-8 want Pak to withdraw forces
The Bill Clinton administration has made its stand clear on the Kargil conflict, saying that the United States and G-8 ''want to see withdrawal of forces, supported by Pakistan, from the Indian side of the Line of Control''.
State department spokesman James Rubin made this statement yesterday, setting at rest the controversy over the interpretation of the G-8 resolution on Kashmir. Both India and Pakistan had claimed that the document favoured their respective positions.
Rubin said the US and G-8 also wanted India and Pakistan to end the fighting in Kargil, exercise restraint and re-commence bilateral dialogue as part of the Lahore process.
''We think that this is the path to preventing the kind of escalation that we have been concerned about, that we think would be damaging to the people of the region as well as the world,'' he added.
Asked whether the US would consider imposing sanctions or other punitive measures on Pakistan if it refused to pull out its forces from Kashmir, Rubin said, ''I wouldn't want to speculate about the future.''
He said, ''We are working this problem right now. We think we are doing what we reasonably can do to try to encourage dialogue, encourage restraint. And that is the focus of our efforts right now.''
Earlier, Rubin said Indian forces continued their efforts to retake positions in the Kargil sector ''from forces that have infiltrated from the Pakistani side of the Line of Control.''
He said the United States remained in close contact with both governments. Marine General Anthony Zinni, commander-in-chief of the US central command, was in Pakistan at the direction of President Bill Clinton for talks with military and civilian officials. His trip was ''part of our continuing close contacts with the Pakistani and Indian governments. He is pursuing our concerns about ending the fighting in the Kargil area of Kashmir.''
Rubin said General Zinni yesterday met Pakistani army Chief General Pervez Musharraf and other military officials.
He said General Zinni was not planning to go to India. But, a member of his team, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Gibson Lanpher would travel to New Delhi ''as part of our efforts to keep both sides fully informed.''
Asked whether General Zinni's decision against visiting India was an indication that the US placed most of the blame for this current problem on Pakistan, Rubin said, ''I wouldn't put it that way. What I would say is that we want to see the withdrawal of forces supported by Pakistan from the Indian side of the Line of Control. So, certainly, that's something that we think General Zinni can work on.''
BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL RESERVATIONS | WORLD CUP 99
EDUCATION | PERSONAL HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | FEEDBACK