Friday, Oct 03, 2003
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India & World
By Sridhar Krishnaswami
The Secretary of State, Colin Powell, was asked at the Washington Foreign Press Centre as to why every time asked about India and Pakistan, the reply was dialogue; that New Delhi has made it very plain that as long as terrorism continues there cannot be a dialogue with Pakistan and when it comes to cross-border terrorism, Pakistan is either unable or unwilling to stop that kind of activity.
"We have condemned cross-border terrorism. And, it is a matter of discussion with our Indian and Pakistani colleagues at every opportunity. And, the President discussed it with both Prime Minister Vajpayee and President Musharraf," Gen. Powell said.
"We, at the same time, recognise that as we are committed to defeating terrorism, there are still opportunities for dialogue. And when you think how far we have come in the past year with respect to the challenges we are facing in the sub-continent, when 14 months ago we were worried about a major war breaking out that might turn nuclear, and now we have seen the exchange of high commissioners, there have been other steps that have been taken", Gen. Powell said referring to the recent political developments between India and Pakistan.
"And so even as we fight terrorism of the kind manifested by cross-border activity, there is still room, I believe, for the two parties to engage in dialogue and ways to go forward. And that was the message we provided to both parties."
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