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'Multi-Dimensional And Multi-Faceted Interaction'

Sep 2, 2002: The MEA spokesperson on the Indo-US and Indo-Pak relations including the press reports about Musharraf saying that the LoC should be made as international border...

Report in the papers that Musharraf saying that the LoC should be made as international border. What is our view on that? 

Nirupama Rao: There has been a denial on that from the Pakistani side. So that should set all the speculations at rest. That is my comment on that. There is no truth in that report to the best of my knowledge. 

So India believes the denial?

Nirupama Rao: Well, the report was spun out of nowhere and the report has been denied. 

Is there any possibility of a meeting between the Prime Minister and President Musharraf in New York?

Nirupama Rao: No, not to the best of my knowledge. We have said on many occasions and I will repeat our considered position that the climate for resumption of dialogue with Pakistan is not conducive and there are reasons for that. We have expressed on many occasions in the past and I reiterate our position again that there has to be a permanent and visible end to infiltration across the line of control and dismantlement of the infrastructure of terrorism which is closely interlinked with such infiltration before we can consider the resumption of dialogue. 

US Deputy Secretary of State Armitage said in his interview with PBS that violence in J&K is not only because of cross border terrorism…

Nirupama Rao: If you read the interview in its entirety I think Mr. Armitage has also pointed to the fact that infiltration is also on the upswing, violence connected with infiltration and even as he alludes to elements within Jammu and Kashmir  who are responsible for that  we all know where the instigation, where the inspiration, where the assistance for such infiltration or such violence, such terrorism within Jammu and Kashmir comes from. It has been supported by cross border elements, it has received further support, it is sustained through such support and until and unless we see an end to such support, we see an end to instigation of such violence you are not going to see  a resolution of that situation. 

Do you have any details of PM’s programme in New York?

Nirupama Rao: I  don’t have details as yet. But he will be addressing the Session of the UN General Assembly and I believe a meeting with President Bush is also scheduled. Further details I will let you know. 

Is US Assistant Secretary of State for non-proliferation visiting Delhi?

Nirupama Rao: I have seen some reports to that effect. But I don’t have details. But if you remember when Secretary of State Powell was here he referred to the series of bilateral high-level contacts that were to take place in the coming months. He spoke of the visit of Assistant Secretary Rocca, he spoke of John Wolf’s visit, he spoke about a number of visits. So this is part and parcel of those series of interactions that have been planned between the two governments. 

There are some speculations in the media that by this John Wolf’s visit this time they are trying to discuss the nuclear issue…

Nirupama Rao: No, I don’t comment on speculative reports. As I said there is a certain content, there is a certain quality of high-level understanding and interaction between the Governments of India and the United States on a number of issues. It is a multi-dimensional and multi-faceted interaction and relationship that we are seeking to build between the two countries and it is normal in this process that high level interaction of this nature do take place and as I mentioned earlier there are a series of such meetings planned and Mr. John Wolf’s visit is part of that interaction and you must see it in the specific context of a growing, maturing relationship between India and the United States and this should not be hyphenated by  linkages to other issues.  

Is there any change in the US perception about the cross border terrorism?

Nirupama Rao: Well, the Government of United States understands and comprehends the depth of the nature of India’s concerns about violence instigated on our territory by cross border forces. The Government of the United States is aware of the fact that the Government of Pakistan has not delivered on the pledges and commitments made by it on various occasions about ending infiltration and terrorism and the Government of the United States fully sees the need to see a complete end to violence in the run up to elections in Jammu and Kashmir and as democracies, India and the United States are completely on the same wavelength I believe when it comes to realizing the importance of this democratic process that is underway in Jammu and Kashmir, the preparations for the election, the intention to see these elections conducted in an atmosphere free of violence and intimidation. On all these issues we see eye to eye. 

 The American editorials comments about the support of the US administration to the dictators in Pakistan. What is India’s view on that?

Nirupama Rao: Well, I think public opinion in this country and the world outside points clearly to the fact that there is a deficit of freedom and democracy within Pakistan. That concern and that point of view has been reflected, has been articulated and has been written about in different countries all over the world and what you see coming out in the editorial comment or media reporting in the United States I believe is reflective of this growing body of universally expressed opinion about the lack of democracy in Pakistan.

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