CRISES - Latest News
Relative calm prevails along LOC despite reports of LMG fire: FO
ISLAMABAD Oct 18 (NNI):
Pakistan on Thursday said that its armed forces were maintaining maximum
restraint along the LOC and working boundary despite reports of light
machine gun fire from the Indian side.
Replying to questions by newsmen at his briefing in Islamabad Thursday
afternoon, Foreign Office spokesman said since yesterday the situation has
been more or less calm.
Referring to reports emanating from India of heavy shelling going on, the
spokesman wondered as to why these statements are coming out. He said one
reason could be that New Delhi wanted to cover up the embarrassment it
suffered following movement of troops close to LOC and working boundary.
The spokesman however made it clear that if there is any other Indian
design, Pakistan armed forces are fully prepared to meet any contingency.
He said Pakistan is fully prepared to defend itself against any
To a question, Mr. Riaz Muhammad Khan said the US Secretary of State Mr.
Colin Powell during his talks with Pakistani leadership had very clearly
conveyed the impression that US wanted de-escalation and reduction of
tension between Pakistan and India. He said Pakistan is in favour of
de-escalation of tension with India. But he said it will not just be the
attitude of Pakistan but India as well and hoped that New Delhi will
sooner than later agree to the resumption of dialogue to address the core
issue of Kashmir so that the two countries can have a tension free
relationship with each other in the interest of the two nations and the
region. He emphasised that Pakistan will never preach war.
As regards the statement by Secretary Colin Powel that Kashmir is central
to relations between Pakistan and India, the spokesman said Pakistan has
always maintained that it is at the heart of conflict and tension between
the two countries. There is need to address this longstanding issue
Asked to comment on Indian Foreign Minister’s statement asking Pakistan to
hand over what he called terrorist to New Delhi, he said this does not
appear to be based on facts but part of sinter campaign by India to make
propaganda against Pakistan to malign it. He said Pakistan has always
opposed terrorism and has been cooperating internationally in the fight
against terrorism. In the past Islamabad had handed over specific persons
requested by various governments of Middle East and the United States.
The spokesman categorically stated that Pakistan was not pouring in any
militants in occupied Kashmir. He said the Kashmir struggle is indigenous,
more than eighty thousand Kashmiris have been martyred and the graveyards
and flowers on them is ample proof of that. On the other hand, he pointed
out that India was not allowing international organisations to see for
themselves the atrocities being committed by occupation forces on the
To another question the spokesman said Pakistan is happy that the United
States has been sensitive to Pakistani concerns in economic areas and
lifted all sanctions. The congress has passed the bill to lift remaining
sanctions and with the approval of the President normal economic
relationship between the two countries will be fully restored.
The spokesman said Pakistan has been supporting the idea of broad-based
government in Afghanistan within the context of UN and OIC resolutions. He
said the idea of prolonged war is in reference to war against terrorism.
As regards the military operations being carried out in Afghanistan, it is
Pakistan’s desire and expectation and the Americans also believe that it
should be as short as possible as no body is interested in prolonging it.
He said these operations are not directed against the Afghan people but
the purpose is to bring those people to justice whom, the Americans
consider responsible for the acts of September 11.
To yet another question, the spokesman emphasised that relief supplies
must continue inside Afghanistan to help the displaced people and prevent
them from entering Pakistan.—NNI s
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