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Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Press Statement

Responding to the announcement by the Prime Minister of India extending the Ramadan cease-fire, for a third rime, till May 31, 2001, the Pakistan Foreign Offcie said the cease-fire was a 'sham'. Following is the full text of Pakistan's statement.

The announcement made today by the Indian Prime Minister on an extension of the period of "non-initiation of combat operations" by Indian forces in Occupied Kashmir is yet another attempt by India to mislead world opinion. Instead of responding positively to the initiatives taken by Pakistan for the reduction of tension and the commencement of a peace process on Kashmir, India has repeated its old allegations against Pakistan and sought to malign the freedom struggle that the people of Kashmir have been waging against India's illegal occupation of the State and against the terror and violence unleashed by the Indian forces against the Kashmiri people.

During the sham cease-fire which has now been in operation for nearly three months, there has been no lessening of repression or violence by India against the Kashmiri people. Instead, there has been escalation in extra-judicial killings, disappearances, torture and other atrocities. Peaceful demonstrators, including women and children, have been fired upon by the Indian Army and other occupation forces. The massacres at Haigam and at Maisuma are only the latest examples of shooting by the Indian forces on unarmed civilians.

India's false claims about the situation in Occupied Kashmir are also belied by the large-scale demonstrations last week for the right to self- determination in Occupied Kashmir in which the Kashmiri people braved curfews and firings by Indian forces to show their support for the freedom struggle. Some of the scenes of the brutality with which Indian forces sought to suppress these demonstrations have been carried by TV channels all round the world.

Wire service reports have quoted Indian official sources as saying that under today's extension of the so-called cease-fire, Indian forces will be free to carry out "search and seize operations" and conduct "targeted attacks against militant groups." These remarks expose the Indian claim of non- initiation of combat operations as lacking any credibility.

The Government of Pakistan calls upon the Government of India to realise the futility of its effort to impose a military solution on Kashmir and join Pakistan in a sincere effort to resolve the dispute. To this end, India must halt its repression, violence and terror against the Kashmiri people, respect the right of the Kashmiri people to self-determination, respond positively to the Pakistani initiatives for peace, permit the APHC delegation to visit Pakistan and enter into a meaningful dialogue with Pakistan for a peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.


February 22, 2001





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