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United States of America

"The United States has always supported free and fair elections in Kashmir, held without outside interference and violence. Throughout this process, we have condemned the extremist attempts to disrupt voting in Kashmir."

- Richard Boucher, Spokesperson, US State Department, Washington, October 10, 2002.

"We condemn very much extremist attempts to disrupt the elections in Jammu and Kashmir. Therefore, violence is absolutely unacceptable… We are opposed to violence in Kashmir and we reiterate our support for free and fair elections in Kashmir held without outside interference and violence… we have always noted elections in Kashmir alone cannot solve the problems between India and Pakistan but they are important step towards a political process. Successful elections could pave the way for early resumption of diplomatic dialogue between India and Pakistan and we would continue to encourage that… Certainly violence has got to be condemned and every effort has got to be made to stop and prevent it."

- Philip Reeker, Spokesperson, US State Department, Washington D. C., October 4, 2002.

"This (turnout of the voters in J&K Assembly elections) is remarkable. We hope it (the trend) continues. If there is less violence there will be more turn-out… It will be an exaggeration to say there was a lot of hue and cry (about rigging). There may have been isolated incidents… It (the elections) is not a sham. We think India is committed to holding free, fair and inclusive elections in J&K without violence. This is exactly right… I would like to salute the individual voters in J&K who came out to exercise their democratic rights despite threat from terrorists… We are hopeful that the successful conduct of four-phased elections in J&K will set the stage for resumption of a dialogue between India and Pakistan."

- Robert Blackwill, Ambassador of the United States in India, New Delhi, September 19, 2002

"We do welcome the Indian government's commitment to holding an election that's free and fair and perceived as such internationally and within India. We have diplomats and others do as well, up in the area observing the elections… We do have reporting from our US Embassy in New Delhi that indicates positive start to the process."

- Richard Boucher, Spokesperson, US State Department, Washington, September 18, 2002.

"The elections were free, there were only one or two incidents but by and large there was no violence, participation was good; the elections were conducted in a good manner and there are no reports of intimidation… It was really good that the level of participation was good and the elections were conducted in a good manner."

- An unnamed US official, September 17, 2002.

"… [The US] is wholly conscious of the need to continue to pressure Gen. Musharraf to desist from recourse to incursions across the LoC and violence, especially during the elections in J&K."

- George W. Bush, US President, New York, September 12, 2002.

"I reaffirmed to the minister [Indian External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha]… we spoke to the Pakistanis about not interfering in any way with these elections… We have reaffirmed to the minister we would continue to press the Pakistani Government to do everything possible to stop cross-border infiltration, and to remind them of the commitment they have made not only to the United States but to the international community that they do not support such activity and would work actively to stop it."

- Colin Powell, Secretary of State, Washington, September 9, 2002.

"Kashmiris, Pakistanis and Indians must do their part to ensure that the upcoming elections can be held in safety without interference from those who would like to spoil them… recent attacks on officials and political party activists in Kashmir cannot be to derail the elections."

- Christina Rocca, Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, Washington, September 6, 2002.

"The US feels that free and fair election in the Valley would be an expression of the will of people and may help a movement forward. It has to be seen whether it gets broader participation… "Our concern is (that) the election are free of violence."

- Richard Armitage, Deputy Secretary of State, Washington, September 4, 2002.

"We see an opportunity in the elections. It can be part of the larger process to establish peace…We don't have a magical solution. We urged them [All Parties Hurriyat Conference] to see an opportunity in these elections."

- Lisa Curtis, Senior Asian affairs advisor to the George Bush administration, Srinagar, August 26, 2002.

"I will be speaking to the Pakistani side to make every effort to avoid disturbing these elections… If you have enough outsiders to watch the election process this would benefit the Indian Government… Elections (in Jammu and Kashmir) alone, however, cannot resolve the problems between India and Pakistan or erase the scars of so many years of strife."

- Colin Powell, Secretary of State, New Delhi, July 28, 2002.





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