ISLAMABAD, July 14: Reports from London and Washington and statements by officials indicate that the visits by United States Secretary of State Colin Powell and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to Islamabad and Delhi will focus on urging the countries to work towards reducing military tensions.
The potential mediators in the tension between India and Pakistan will visit Islamabad this month.
Powell will visit both Delhi and Islamabad. He will arrive here on July 29. Straw too will visit India, where he is expected to finalise a multi-billion dollar defense deal before arriving here on July 19.
Officials expect them to address cross-border terrorism, military de-escalation and elections in occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
While welcoming the visitors, officials maintain that Islamabad had taken the measures on the issues that it could take to promote peace.
“The ball is now in India’s court, as neutral parties we expect the US and the United Kingdom to acknowledge this fact,” commented a senior official.
“Last week even US Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld finally acknowledged that Pakistan had taken all possible steps to block the Line of Control so India must be told that its repeated allegations that Pakistan is sending across militants is evidently baseless,” the official said.
“There is need for the US and the UK to now clearly spell out to Delhi the many problems with its policies in occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” said an official.
The officials maintain that the leaders from US and UK must be able to “see through” Delhi’s propaganda offensive to project Islamabad as “spoiler” with reference to the election in occupied Kashmir.
“Pakistan’s policy on elections in occupied Kashmir remains unchanged, we only support plebiscite. However, the world must focus on how the people and political parties of all shades are opposing the elections,” argued an official. It is “illogical for anyone to expect that peaceful elections can be held in a territory plagued by state-sponsored human rights violations and oppressed by 700,000 hostile soldiers.”