Sunday, Mar 30, 2003
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By B. Muralidhar Reddy
The Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman termed the comments made by Mr. Sinha against Pakistan as "derogatory".
"It as the utterance of an extremely sick and frustrated man who is piqued at the fact that Pakistan has won appreciation of the whole world over its critical and substantive role in the international war against terrorism".
The spokesman alleged that the Indian leadership seemed to be "unnerved" by the growing international attention on the need to find a peaceful solution to the festering Kashmir dispute and a sharpening world focus on the `systemic harassment and oppression of Indian minorities'.
Mr. Sinha's observations and response of the Pakistan Foreign Office have come a day after the joint statement by the United Kingdom and the United States.
The statements from New Delhi and Islamabad clearly show the impact the appeal had on both sides.
"Instead of hurling ridiculous accusations, the Indian leaders should worry about improving the human rights situation in Kashmir where some 700,000 security personnel are engaged in State-sponsored genocide. We have time and again called upon India to see reason and adopt a civilised way of settlement of disputes through a sustained and constructive dialogue," the Pakistan Foreign Office said.
What lies ahead is evident from the decision of Indian cricket team not to visit Pakistan next month and the retaliatory action by Islamabad that its team would not tour India next year.
The gulf is only expected to widen. The Foreign Secretary, Kanwal Sibal, has been reported to have said in Moscow that "Nadimarg is directly related to Iraq, Pakistan is domestically under pressure for its backing of the U.S. and to save the regime it is distracting attention signalling that Kashmir cause is not being ditched. It could be the beginning of stepped up terror campaign to keep extremists distracted".
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