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    Pakistanis are jubiliant of their US victory

    Burton, Bonior, Other Members of Congress Urge President Clinton to Mediate Peace in Kashmir; New Citizens Group Formed to Promote Human Rights And Political Freedom in South Asia
    WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- In a letter released today, 15 Senators and 46 U.S. Representatives urged President Clinton to intensify diplomatic efforts to resolve the dispute over Kashmir, ``the most dangerous nuclear flashpoint in the world today.''

    ``The United States should help break the stalemate over Kashmir to reduce the chance of nuclear war in the Asian subcontinent,'' the Senators and Representatives wrote to the President. ``Therefore, we urge you to: 1) consider appointment of a Special Envoy who could recommend to you ways of ascertaining the wishes of the Kashmiri people and reaching a just and lasting settlement of the Kashmir issue; and 2) propose strengthening the UN Military Observers Group to monitor the situation along the Line of Control.''

    House Democratic Whip David Bonior (D-MI) and Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN) a made the letter public and gave remarks in a news conference scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at the Cannon House Office Building today.

    ``It is time that this Administration begins to pay more attention to the plight of the people in Kashmir,'' said Congressman Burton. ``In fact, I believe the people of Kashmir should be given the right to determine their own fate through a fair and open plebiscite.''

    ``This is a national security issue,'' said Congressman Bonior. It is a humanitarian issue. It is something we can no longer ignore, because Kashmir has become a flashpoint whose potential consequences are very, very grave.``

    ``Today represents the beginning of a major grassroots initiative by Pakistani Americans and their friends and supporters for peace and justice in south Asia,'' said Dr. Nasim Ashraf, president of Americans for Peace and Justice in South Asia, a newly formed nonprofit public advocacy group which aims to inform and educate the American public and policy makers about the threat to world peace and long-term American interests in the region. ``Americans of Kashmiri and Pakistani origin are intensifying our efforts to promote a peaceful settlement of the dangerous dispute over Kashmir. We are delivering petitions to the President and Congress signed by approximately 10,000 American citizens urging U.S. mediation for a just and peaceful solution in Kashmir.''

    India's unlawful and repressive military occupation of Kashmir has more than 600,000 troops in a territory with a civilian population of only 8 million and an area only the size of Virginia and North Carolina combined. This occupation and repression of human rights began 50 years ago and has resulted in more than 50,000 persons being killed and thousands of women being raped by the Indian military forces. America has a moral responsibility to lead the international community in bringing an end to the human rights violations and denial of political freedom of the people of Kashmir.``

    Among the 17 Senators signing the letter were Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms (R-NC), Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), Senate Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs Chairman Sam Brownback (R-KS), and Sen. Robert Torricelli (D-NJ). The 45 House signers include Reps. John Edward Porter (R-IL), Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL), James Rogan (R-CA), Ciro Rodriguez (D-TX), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), and David Wu (D-OR, Dana Rohrabacher (R- CA) and John Conyers (D-MI).

    The following organizations participated in organizing today's effort:

    * Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America (APPNA);
    President, Dr. Shabbir Safdar
    * Pakistani American Congress; President, Dr. Riaz Ahmed
    * Pakistani-American Physicians Public Affairs Committee
    (PAK-PAC); President, Dr. Arif Muslim
    * Friends of Pakistan (FOP); Chairman, Dr. Naveed Iqbal
    * Council of Pakistan American Affairs (COPPA); President, Mr.
    Attiazaz Din
    * Pakistani Association of North Americans (Michigan); President,
    Mr. Faiz Khan
    * Pakistani Association of Greater Houston; President, Mr. Masroor
    Javed Khan
    * Kashmiri-American Council; Executive Director, Dr. Ghulam Nabi
    * Pakistan Link; President, Mr. Faiz Rehman

    The following is the text of the letter sent to President Clinton on Kashmir from members of U.S. Senate and House of Representatives:

    We commend your timely intervention to help defuse the immediate crisis in Kashmir. Particularly important is your commitment to take a personal interest in encouraging the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan to resume and intensify their dialogue, begun in Lahore in February, to resolve all issues between them, particularly Kashmir.

    Kashmir is the most dangerous nuclear flashpoint in the world today. As President Richard Nixon noted 25 years ago, ``nuclear powers have never fought each other, but the clash between Muslim Pakistan and Hindu India over disputed Kashmir territory could erupt into the world's first war between nuclear powers.'' To avert this possibility, the dispute over Kashmir's unresolved status must be settled promptly and peacefully.

    The United States should help break the stalemate over Kashmir to reduce the chance of nuclear war in the Asian subcontinent. Therefore, we urge you to: 1) consider the appointment of a Special Envoy who could recommend to you ways of ascertaining the wishes of the Kashmiri people and reaching a just and lasting settlement of the Kashmir issue; and 2) propose strengthening the UN Military Observers Group to monitor the situation along the Line of Control.

    We await your prompt response and stand ready to support these diplomatic initiatives.

    The letter was signed by:

    Dan Burton (R-IN)
    David Bonior (D-MI)
    Tom Campbell (R-CA)
    Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL)
    Ralph Hall (D-TX)
    Dale Kildee (D-MI)
    Cynthia McKinney (D-GA)
    John Olver (D-MA)
    John Edward Porter (R-IL)
    Lynn Rivers (D-MI)
    Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
    Bart Stupak (D-MI)
    Michael Capuano (D-MA)
    John Dingell (D-MI)
    Maurice Hinchey (D-NY)
    Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-MI)
    Carrie Meeks (D-FL)
    Major Owens (D-NY)
    Jack Quinn (R-NY)
    Ciro Rodriguez (D-TX)
    Bernard Sanders (I-VT)
    Edolphus Towns (D-NY)
    James Barcia (D-MI)
    John Conyers (D-MI)
    John Doolittle (R-CA)
    Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
    Peter King (R-NY)
    Jim Moran (D-VA)
    Donald Payne (D-NJ)
    George Radanovich (R-CA)
    Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)
    Tom Sawyer (D-OH)
    David Wu (D-OR)
    Thomas Barrett (D-WI)
    Pat Danner (D-MO)
    Jim Gibbons (R-NV)
    Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)
    Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY)
    James Oberstar (D-MN)
    Richard Pombo (R-CA)
    Nick Rahall (D-WV)
    James Rogan (R-CA)
    Nick Smith (R-MI)
    Albert Wynn (D-MD)
    Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD)
    Peter DeFazio (D-OR)

    The following Senators signed a letter with the identical text as the House of Representatives' letter:

    Tim Johnson (D-SD)
    Jesse Helms (R-NC), Foreign Relations Committee Chairman
    Sam Brownback (R-KS)
    Robert Torricelli (D-NJ)
    Tim Hutchinson (R-AR)
    Tom Harkin (D-IA)
    Byron Dorgan (D-ND)
    Paul Coverdell (R-GA)
    Harry Reid (D-NV)
    John Edwards (D-NC)
    John Chafee (R-RI)
    Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
    Kent Conrad (D-ND)
    Mike Crapo (R-ID)
    Blanche Lambert Lincoln (D-AR)

    SOURCE: House Democratic Whip David Bonior's Office

    Really, because I'm Pakistani and I just heard about it. I must have missed the "jubilation" of my countrymen and women.

    Whats wrong with intensifying diplomatic efforts to resolve the Kashmir dispute? Maybe than our respective countries can start to pay more attention to the social and economic conditions their people live under, rather than investing countless funds on the military.

    Why aren't Indian's happy? Because they are fully aware that Kashmir one day will be freed of Indian occupation and that time will come soon.



      bhai.. there is a stick, there has to be carrot. Let us see how the game goes after new govt comes in India and CTBT talks start again.



        Your happiness has short lived, you will never win against the Indians at any level.

        The latest news is that :

        US House of Representatives' International Relations Committee Chairman Benjamin Gilman Tuesday night urged President Bill Clinton to reject the demand made by some Congressmen, seeking the appointment of a special envoy for Kashmir. Gilman, (Republican), backed by Sam Gejdenson (Democrat), also opposed their plea for strengthening of the UN military observers' group for India and Pakistan to monitor the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir.

        Jaswant –Aziz meeting sour

        » United Nations: External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz met for the first time after the Kargil conflict at the SAARC ministerial level meeting on Tuesday, shook hands, but exchanged no words. It looked just a formal greeting devoid of any warmth. They did not utter a word to each other and made little eye contact, but the meet provided a photo opportunity with cameramen clicking away merrily. “It shows the icy state of relations between India and Pakistan,” remarked a diplomat who witnessed the scene.

        The demands were made in a joint letter, released by Congressmen-- Dan Burton (Republican) and David Bonior (Democrat)-- earlier in the day. Hardly had the letter reached the White House, when Gilman and Gejdenson made the counter move. In their letter to President Clinton, Gilman and his panel's ranking member Gejdenson said, “taking these steps, as well intentioned as they may appear on the surface, would be a severe setback to the cause of regional security in South Asia.” “It has been a cornerstone foreign policy principle of your administration and past administrations, consistently re-emphasised on a number of occasions and most recently in a statement by you on July 4 during the Kargil crisis, that the best chance for the successful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir issue lies in bilateral negotiations and constructive dialogue between India and Pakistan,” Gilman and Gejdenson said in their letter to the President. “To inject a special envoy into this situation, without the willingness of both sides, would fracture the current peace process,” it said adding, “such a step, we believe, would act as a major, unnecessary, and counter-productive attempt to substitute a US presence for the bilateral dialogue process agreed to by India and Pakistan in the Simla agreement of 1972 and reaffirmed in the February 1999 Lahore declaration of the prime ministers of both nations.” “Consequently, instead of appointing a special envoy we should be urging Pakistan to stop sending infiltrators across the LoC into India. This would result in a far better atmosphere for the resumption of productive bilateral negotiations between India and Pakistan,” the letter said.

        Benjamin and Gejdenson said the need to have the two sides resolve their differences bilaterally would also be undercut by augmenting the UN military observers group by introducing additional international forces into the region. They said the appointment of the special envoy for Kashmir would only serve as an attempt at appeasing the Sharif government without contributing to peace and stability in the region.

        In separate statement, Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone said when the Burton-Bonior letter was first circulated in July, he wrote to Clinton urging him not to support the Pakistani position in internationalising the bilateral Kashmir issue. “Sharif's aides are trying to convince American officials that we must help to prop up the current Pakistani government. Obviously, one of the major concessions that they are seeking is an US commitment to mediate the Kashmir conflict.