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Kashmir root cause of tension, Pakistan not to use force first

NEW YORK, May 30, 2002  (SANA) - Pakistan's permanent representatives to the United Nations, Munir Akram, has said the root cause of the confrontation between India and Pakistan was Kashmir.
Addressing a press conference at the U.N. headquarters, Akram made it clear
"Pakistan had never subscribed to a doctrine of "no first use" of nuclear arms against its South Asian neighbor----What it did subscribe to was “no-first use of force" clearly indicates that we'll go for nuclear attack first.

Briefing the press on tensions between the two countries, he said that since 1948, the United Nations had adopted several resolutions which prescribed that the future of Kashmir should be decided by its people through a free and fair plebiscite conducted under United Nations auspices. That pledge had not been fulfilled leading to the present tension, he underlined.  
India, he said, had sent over 700,000 troops into Indian-occupied Kashmir - an area the size of Belgium. Seventy thousand Kashmiris had died, thousands more had been maimed and incarcerated.
Muni Akram rejected that the Kashmiris struggle for freedom was terrorism.  
The two attacks last year, on the Kashmiri Legislative Assembly on 31 October and on the Indian Parliament on 13 December, were incidents utilized by India to revive its allegations that Pakistan was a sponsor of terrorism, he stated.  
When the attack of May 14 took place on an Indian cantonment in Srinagar, India once again revived its allegations, threatened war against Pakistan and took several military moves to escalate the tension, including moving ships from the Bay of Bengal to the Arabian Sea, he pointed out.  
Pakistan, he said, had responded to calls from the international community not to escalate the situation.
However, he warned, Pakistan had made it clear that if a war was thrust upon it, if India did commit aggression against Pakistan, it would respond with its full might.  
Asked if he would welcome a more effective impartial monitoring of the Line of Control (LOC) than what had been performed so far by the United Nations Military Observer Group for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), Akram said that his Government had proposed a strengthening of UNMOGIP.  
The current number of 35 observers has to be substantially increased to effectively monitor the LOC, he demanded. India has so far refused to have monitors along the 750-kilometre line.  
There were three layers of troops along that line as well as mines and fences. If people were getting through those defences, India had to ask itself how people were able to get through, Munir Akram said.  
Asked constituted an act of aggression by India, he explained that any action by India across the border, any aerial attack on Pakistani territory and its assets, and any action to economically strangle Pakistan would be viewed aggression and would be responded to by Pakistan.  
Regarding nuclear weapons, he stated that Pakistan had never subscribed to a first use policy.
On the possibility for dialogue, he stated that Pakistan had always sought dialogue for all of its problems with India, including Kashmir.  
Asked what Pakistan expected from the U.N. Security Council, he said that the Council had a responsibility for addressing the Kashmir dispute for two reasons. First, its resolutions had prescribed the modalities for the solution of the problem. Second, all the parties had the responsibility to implement the Council's resolutions.   
With regard to President Putin offer to mediate talks between the two sides, Akram said that Pakistan had responded positively to that offer. If India accepted the offer, his Government would welcome the opportunity for a dialogue, he added.


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