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May 27, 1999
Pak calls for UN intervention
Pakistani Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz has said Islamabad has asked India ''not to escalate the situation along the Line of Control'' and called for restraint.
The statement was made after the Pakistani and Indian director generals of military operations held consultations to defuse the situation in the wake of the Kargil air strikes, a foreign office spokesman said.
He said the officials established contact after Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had called his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharief.
Aziz said the India deputy high commissioner in Islamabad was summoned to the foreign office two days ago and was told the 'situation should not be escalated' along the LoC.
The military escalation was against the spirit of the Lahore Declaration, Aziz said. ''We have defended our position and at the same time exercised restraint.''
''We have taken all necessary measures,'' he added.
Aziz said Pakistan was trying its best to contain the situation along the LoC.
He said the foreign secretary-level talks between the two countries could take place after the general elections in India. He added that Pakistan was ready in principle for technical and expert-level talks.
It is also ready for the minister of state-level talks between the two countries on the exchange of civilian prisoners. These talks may take place in the next few weeks before the Indian elections, he added.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has called for the United Nations' intervention, charging that Indian jet fighters 'bombed' its territory in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
''New Delhi has now undertaken air strikes against the infiltrators and some bombs have fallen on our side of the LoC,'' a foreign office spokesman alleged.
He claimed that the Indian air strikes (in Kargil) have undermined the urgency of finding a political solution to the Kashmir issue.
''We believe such an escalation is unwarranted and should be avoided. Pakistan reserves the right to respond appropriately and the responsibility for such a situation would lie squarely on India.''
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan should send an envoy to the region for the 'preservation of peace and security', the spokesman said.
The foreign office claimed that the present situation warranted immediate activation of the United Nations Military Observer Group for India and Pakistan.
The spokesman described the Indian military action against the infiltrators as a smokescreen for creating an advantageous situation which, it said, would violate the LoC.
He said Kashmir today was a nuclear flashpoint and that the solution to the issue does not lie in 'provocative' military action.
''Pakistan is committed to the Lahore Declaration and also to continuing negotiations with India and therefore we call upon New Delhi to join to intensify efforts to resolve all issues speedily,'' the spokesman added.
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