Thursday, Jun 06, 2002
Front Page |
Southern States |
Other States |
Advts: Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |
By Sridhar Krishnaswami
The administration is stressing that the situation in the subcontinent continues to be "very, very tense'' and that the U.S. is monitoring the developments. "I would say at this moment that the situation remains largely unchanged. It continues to be very, very tense in the region,'' Mr. Boucher said.
Expanding on the theme of ``some indications'' of Pakistani action, Mr. Boucher said that at this point, Washington was not prepared to say that cross-border infiltration had ceased along the lines the Bush administration wanted or what the Pakistan President, Pervez Musharraf, had promised. "...we continue to follow it very closely and we see that there is more than just statements. But at this point, we are not prepared to say that we have seen the cessation that we are all looking for and that President Musharraf has promised.'' Asked if the Pakistani actions amounted to moving in a positive direction, he said "yes... I'm not in a position to give you any more specifics... "
In Barbados for a Meeting of the Organisation of American States, the U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell, said that Washington would urge New Delhi to de-escalate only when it was "obvious and demonstrable to all'' that cross-border infiltration had stopped. "When that takes place in a way that is obvious and demonstrable to all, then we would call upon India to take the de-escalatory steps so we can start moving in the other direction,'' Gen. Powell told reporters.
At the White House, the Spokesman, Ari Fleischer, said the U.S. President, George W. Bush, believed that a war between India and Pakistan could be avoided and that was why he was so actively involved in the ongoing diplomacy. "War would be catastrophic if it takes place between India and Pakistan, and war is not inevitable. And that is why the United States has been working so hard with the parties to convince them that a war is not in their interests, let alone the region's or the world's,'' Mr. Fleischer said.
The White House also said that the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, had discussed with Mr. Bush his plans of talking to the leaders of India and Pakistan in advance and that Mr. Bush had told Mr. Putin that he was grateful for his diplomacy. "It is another sign of constructive relationship with Russia, in which the issues we see similarly are increasing. That is part of the rejection of the old zero sum game where if there was turmoil for one superpower, it was good for the other. Those days are over, and President Putin's help is noted,'' Mr. Fleischer said.
Meanwhile, at the Pentagon, the Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, who will be in the subcontinent over the weekend, expressed the apprehension that the Al-Qaeda could exploit the standoff between India and Pakistan.
"It would be most unfortunate if someone saw it in their interest to create incidents on either side of the Line of Control or the border, in the hope that those incidents would incite one or the other party to activities they would otherwise avoid. But I don't know of any instances of that happening,'' Mr. Rumsfeld said. He was "satisfied'' that the Pakistan Army still had its divisions along the border with Afghanistan.
Asked what he would do to prevent a war between India and Pakistan, he said the two countries were sovereign and would make their own decisions.
"And they are, as is not surprising, taking their own counsel and visiting with people from other countries, multiple countries, on a continuing basis.''
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | Home |
Copyright © 2002, The
Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of