- The Washington Times - Monday, August 20, 2001

Blaming Pakistan
Those who attended the Indian Embassy's national day celebration heard Ambassador Shri Lalit Mansingh read the words of India's prime minister as he blamed Pakistan for the failure of the recent Indian-Pakistani summit.
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee said Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf "had no interest in improving our relations in all possible areas" when the two met last month in Agra, India.
"'He came here with a single-point agenda: to make India accept Pakistan's terms on Kashmir,'" the ambassador said last week, reading Mr. Vajpayee's remarks. "'I could not have accepted this condition.'"
Pakistan insists on a referendum in Kashmir on the future of the Muslim-majority province on India's northwestern border with Pakistan. India accuses Pakistan of encouraging terrorism in Kashmir to pursue the absorption of the province into Pakistan.
"'[Gen. Musharraf] kept on describing cross-border terrorism as jihad [holy war] and a freedom struggle. There was simply no question of accepting this logic,'" Mr. Mansingh said, quoting the prime minister.
"'Let no one entertain any delusion that Pakistan can succeed in wresting Kashmir through jihad and terrorism what it has failed to get through wars.'"
India and Pakistan have fought three wars, two of which involved Kashmir.

'Blame game'
Pakistan also was also making its case in Washington last week, as Foreign Secretary Inam-ul Haque said his country rejected the "blame game" over who was responsible for the failure of the Agra summit.
He even refused to call it a failure. Pakistan Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, in a speech and at Pakistan's national day celebration last week, made the same point.
Mr. Haque, addressing the Woodrow Wilson Center on Friday, said the meeting between Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee "was an intensive dialogue" that came close to reaching an agreement on a joint declaration.
"That the agreement could not finally be signed should not be seen as a failure," he said. "India and Pakistan have a very complex relationship, and sometimes it is better not to have an agreement on which there might be later controversies than to have an agreement."
Mr. Haque said Mr. Vajpayee has agreed to come to Pakistan for a second summit.
"We hope to carry forward this dialogue," he said, "and we hope that — for want of a better word — the 'blame game' that started immediately after the Agra summit will be brought to an end quickly, and there will be no recriminations on who was at fault at Agra."

Welch in Egypt
David Welch, the new U.S. ambassador to Egypt, has arrived in Cairo to take over from Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer, who has been appointed envoy to Israel.
Mr. Welch, who arrived on Friday, had served as a political adviser on Middle Eastern affairs at the U.N. Security Council and was charge d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia.
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell has described Mr. Welch as one of the best experts on the region.

More nominations
President Bush has selected three persons with long government experience in his latest round of diplomatic nominations.
He intends to name Kevin Joseph McGuire, a career foreign service officer, to serve as ambassador to Namibia. Mr. McGuire is currently director of senior assignments in the Bureau of Human Resources at the State Department.
Mr. McGuire is a former acting deputy assistant secretary for global affairs and has served in the U.S. embassies in Italy, Gabon and South Korea.
Mr. Bush has selected John Marshall to serve as assistant administrator for management at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Mr. Marshall was a senior adviser to the Senate Government Affairs Committee from 1995 to 1997 and has served in the Office of Management and Budget and in the education and agriculture departments.
The president picked Constance Berry Newman to serve as assistant administrator of the USAID's Africa bureau. She served as director of the Office of Personnel Management from 1989 to 1992.


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