Upping the ante, Pakistan on Thursday said there can be no result-oriented discussions with India on the Kashmir unless New Delhi stops treating it as the country's integral part and seeking a solution within the ambit of the Indian Constitution.
Intensifying the criticism of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit called on India to "revisit its approach and its Kashmir policy rather than trying cosmetic measures here and there because this is not going to bring about any difference as far as the Jammu and Kashmir dispute is concerned."
"Unless India takes a fresh look at its Kashmir policy, does some introspection and stops treating Jammu and Kashmir as its integral part and stops harping on seeking a solution within the Indian Constitution, we do not believe that we can really have any meaningful or result-oriented discussions with India on this (issue)," Basit told a weekly news briefing.
He was responding to a question on the Indian government's efforts to address the protests in Jammu and Kashmir by sending a delegation of political leaders to meet Kashmiri leaders.
Basit noted that the Hurriyat Conference had already rejected the move.
He also described as "self-serving" India's rejection of resolutions passed by both houses of Pakistan's Parliament condemning the violence in Jammu and Kashmir and calling on the international community to ensure the implementation of UN resolutions on Kashmir.
"Jammu and Kashmir is an international issue and subject of several UN resolutions. The Senate and National Assembly resolutions of September 20 reflect the concerns of the people of Pakistan on the gross and systematic violations of human rights of the Kashmiri people by Indian security forces," he said.
Basit noted that the UN Secretary General had called for an end to the violence while the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and Amnesty International had asked India to end the violence and protect the rights of people.
"Pakistan is committed to finding a just and peaceful settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and will continue extending its moral, diplomatic and political support to Kashmiris in their legitimate struggle against Indian occupation," he said.
In response to another question, Basit said Pakistan is not undertaking any propaganda against India on the Kashmir issue.
"If you are describing that as propaganda on the part of Pakistan, it is totally self-serving and just to mislead the international community because the issue is far bigger than what the Indians are saying," he said.
'India's rise to be substantial for global order' Updated on Thursday, September 23, 2010, 18:20
http://www.zeenews.com/news657085.html Washington: Ahead of President Barack Obama's historic state visit to India, a top US diplomat has said India's rise would be consequential for the international order and deeply in the interests of America.
"India's rise may be as consequential for international order, the future of the global economy and the promotion of human values as any other development in the new century unfolding before us," Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Bill Burns said.
He made the remarks at an awards dinner in New York where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was presented the 2010 'World Statesman Award' in absentia by the Appeals of Conscience Foundation, a US-based interfaith coalition.
"Without any doubt, India's rise is deeply in the interests of the United States, and our stake in India's success grows more apparent as each day passes," Burns said ahead of Obama's visit to India in early November.
Burns said the US and India are united not only by common values and shared interests, but increasingly by the vast web of family, business, artistic and scientific ties that transcend our borders.
"As President Obama prepares for an historic state visit to India later this autumn, the promise of our partnership, built on strong bipartisan foundations in both our countries, looms bright and unmistakable," he said.
Last week, the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake had described India as an indispensable partner and said that one of the thematic topics to be discussed during Obama's visit would be US support for India's growing global role and influence.
KARACHI: Pakistan's Olympic chief on Thursday admitted to "concerns" about chaotic preparations for the Commonwealth Games in India, but said plans to send out a security official ahead of time were "normal".
The Games, due to be held in New Delhi from October 3-14, face serious problems after several participating teams delayed their arrival in the Indian capital, checking the facilities and the arrangements for security.
The Games' village - which is due to house 7,000 athletes - is still unfinished, with complaints of improper facilities coupled with security fears in the wake of threats from Islamist groups.
Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) president Arif Hasan admitted there were "concerns" for his contingent but sending a official out for a pre-Games check was "not out of the ordinary."
"Naturally there are concerns, but we have full assurances from the organisers that Pakistani athletes will be taken full care of and sending an official for pre-Games checks is a normal procedure," Hasan said.
The Games will mark Pakistan's first major participation in a sporting event in India since relations between the two nuclear rivals plummeted after Islamist militant attacks on Mumbai left 166 people dead in November 2008.
Hasan said a Pakistani security official would visit India before Pakistani athletes leave for the Indian capital.
"The interior ministry has appointed police official Ahmed Mukkaram to visit New Delhi for normal security and arrangement checks but this has nothing to do with the latest reports (of mismanagement) on the Games," said Hasan.
Pakistan will compete in seven disciplines of the Games and their 75-member contingent will leave for New Delhi on September 29, said Hasan.
"We have briefed the athletes through lectures on 'what to do and what not to do' things and hope that all goes well during the Games," said Hasan.
Pakistan won one gold, three silvers and a bronze medal in the last Games held in Melbourne, Australia four years ago.
'It is time for the US to show goodness and pardon Aafia Siddiqi'
KARACHI: Advisor to Sindh Chief Minister Ms Sharmila Farooqui has asked the United States to release Dr Aafia Siddiqui on humanitarian basis and as a goodwill gesture to Pakistan.
Pakistan is a friend of the US, so it should consider the release of Aafia Siddiqui to fulfill the principles of friendship, she said while talking to media at her office here on Thursday.
“Pakistan has always supported the US efforts for world peace and sacrificed a lot. Now is the time for the US to show goodness and pardon a Pakistani woman who is innocent”, she said.
Sharmila also contacted Fauzia Siddiqui, the sister of Aafia Siddiqui, and assured her of all possible support from the government side for the release of Aafia.
Sharmila said Aafia Siddiqui is an innocent woman but she was wrongly handed over to the US in the previous government of President Musharraf in 2003.
“In Islam and Pakistan, handing over a woman to foreign countries is a sin but it is a pity that an innocent woman was mercilessly given in hands of the US in the past government,” she said.
The advisor said the family members of Dr Aafia are in deep shock over the last seven years and are anxiously waiting to see Aafia in homeland.
She asked the international human rights and social organisations to play their due role for the release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui.
Sharmila also asked the federal government to make efforts on humanitarian grounds for her release through diplomatic efforts so as to end an unrest prevalent among all segments of Pakistan society.
The advisor said the government is committed to safeguarding human rights at national and international level as per the vision of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto.
India tells Pak to end its illegal occupation of J&K
PTI, Sep 23, 2010, 11.41am IST
NEW YORK: Stating that Jammu and Kashmir is an internal matter of India,